Project Details


The award of the Philip Leverhulme Prize, 2021, in Visual and Performing Arts for Dr Annebella Pollen will be invested towards research titled Children's Photography: A Cultural History from Below.

Children have been the subject of the photographer’s gaze since the medium’s earliest days but were only substantially addressed and figured as camera operators with the coming of push-button cameras in the late nineteenth century. Valuable scholarship has explored the historical expectations of children as photographic subjects but much less has been written on the history of children as photographers.

There is no book-length study and there are significant gaps in knowledge about how children engaged with photography throughout the twentieth century. Before the 1970s, children’s photography lacked cultural value and was rarely collected in its own right; its status remains unstable even as children are now major photographic producers. Nonetheless a wide - if fragmented - range of sources exist, which this study will survey, synthesise and analyse. These include advertising depictions, instruction manuals, hobby literature, pedagogic resources, camera collections, written memoirs and photographic archives across artistic, activist, commercial, educational, social media and social science locations.

The Leverhulme Trust provides the funding for the annual Philip Leverhulme Prizes. Chosen from over 400 nominations, in 2021 the Trust offered five prizes in each of the following subject areas: Classics; Earth Sciences; Physics; Politics and International Relations; Psychology; Visual and Performing Arts.

Now in its twentieth year, this scheme commemorates the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip, Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of William Lever, the founder of the Trust. The prizes recognise and celebrate the achievement of exceptional researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future careers are exceptionally promising.

Each prize is now worth £100,000 and thirty are awarded annually. They may be used for any purpose that advances the prize winner’s research.
Effective start/end date1/02/2231/01/25


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