Hastings Museum unveils photographs of amazing Victorian voyage

New photos on show at Hastings museum provide a fascinating glimpse into the past of a wealthy Hastings family who travelled the globe in Victorian times.
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The Brasseys were an influential family in Hastings in the second half of the 19th century and early 20th centuries. Their great wealth meant they could afford lavish country houses, Beauport Park and Normanhurst Court, and they also had a love of travel.

Annie Brassey (1839-1887) was a travel writer and collector who travelled the world in the 1870s and 1880s. Many of the objects Brassey collected were donated to Hastings Museum & Art Gallery in 1919, along with the Durbar Hall, that she purchased from the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London. The objects from her travels now form part of the World Cultures collection at the museum.

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In 1873, after learning how to take her own photographs, Brassey became a member of the Royal Photographic Society and had a darkroom fitted on board the Sunbeam, the family’s yacht, to develop and print her images. Missing from the donation to the museum were these photographs. This latest exhibition brings a selection of these images back to the museum’s collection for the first time in more than 100 years.

The Brassey family onboard The SunbeamThe Brassey family onboard The Sunbeam
The Brassey family onboard The Sunbeam

These images have been reproduced from the 70 albums of more than 5,000 photographs, which are now kept in the Huntington Library in California. The collection contains Brassey’s own photographs and commercial and tourist photographs purchased at destinations she visited. For more visit www.hmag.org.uk.