"Frederick Hollyer (1837 – 1933) adapted new technical developments in photography to create a unique visual record of London's artistic society at the dawn of the 20th century." — Victoria and Albert Museum.

Born in Clerkenwell, London, Frederick Hollyer was the youngest son of Samuel Hollyer, an engraver who held the official office of assistant sealer to the Lord Chancellor. Frederick himself went in for a career in engraving before turning his hand to photography in about 1860. By 1865, he was well enough established in this capacity to be elected to the Photographic Society of London. At this point he was making carte de visites from a studio in Kentish Town, but in 1875 he set himself up in a studio in the more artistic neighbourhood of Kensington. He became particularly known for his portraits of artists and other celebrated figures in the cultural world of the time: "His portrait prints, with their limited range of tone and distinctive mounts, have a rare delicacy and beauty. His sitters are unselfconsciously posed and softly lit, their characters revealed with great sympathy and understanding" ("Frederick Hollyer (1838-1933)"). He also photographed works of art, including those by the Pre-Raphaelites, and notably the drawings of Sir Edward Burne-Jones. So successful was he that he was given permission to photograph works in the Victoria and Albert Museum's collections, and sell the reproductions. He retired in 1913, handing over the studio to his eldest son, Frederick Thomas Hollyer (1870-1952). — Jacqueline Banerjee

Biographical Material





Frederick Hollyer. Victorian and Albert Museum. Web. 17 June 2023.

Frederick Hollyer — Life and Work. Victorian and Albert Museum. Web. 17 June 2023.

"Frederick Hollyer (1838-1933), Photographer and art publisher." National Portrait Gallery. Web. 17 June 2023.

Frederick Hollyer — Working Methods. Victorian and Albert Museum. Web. 17 June 2023.

Hammond, Anne. "Hollyer, Frederick (1838–1933), photographer and art publisher." Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 17 June 2023.

Hollyer, Frederick (firm). Catalogue of Platinotype Reproductions of Pictures &c. photographed and sold by Mr. Hollyer. London: F. Hollyer, 1900. Internet Archive. From a copy in Cornell University Library. Web. 17 June 2023.

Townsend, Horace. "An Interview with Frederick Hollyer." The Studio 1893, Vol. 1. 193-96. Internet Archive. Digitized by the Kahle/Austin Foundation. Web. 17 June 2023.

Created 1 November 2014

Last modified 17 June 2023