In June 2016, Penlee House Gallery & Museum took possession of an outstanding photographic collection by Gibson & Sons. It comprises 1266 photographic prints, 108 individual postcards with many additional duplicates, and 259 negative glass plates. The vast majority of the photographs date from 1880-1900s and are a treasure trove of what life was like in this period in West Cornwall. The Gibsons were not content to be just studio photographers but were photographic chroniclers of outdoor life on land and sea, of important social events and of the Cornish landscape with its mining and ancient archaeological heritage.
This book explores the Gibsons’ legacy, the work of a family of artist photographers, notably the founder of Gibson, John Gibson (1827 – 1920) and his son Alexander Gibson (1857 – 1944). The Gibsons are among the pioneers of British photography. The book not only includes a representative sample of their work in West Penwith and beyond but also adds an illuminating commentary to many of the photographs.