(b. 1861; d. 2 August 1947)
Alexander Keighley was born in Yorkshire, son of a wealthy industrialist. Pressed into his father’s business, his ambition was to be an artist, and he found in photography the outlet he wanted.
At first Keighley took the view that photography should be a medium in its own right and not seek to emulate other forms of art. However, he subsequently changed his tune, his carbon prints being very heavily retouched.
A founder-member of the Linked Ring, his work was widely acclaimed; some of his “camera paintings”, as he called them, are still masterpieces. Became President of the Bradford Photographic Society and of the Keighley and District Photographic Association. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1911.
“He will be known to most of our readers through his success in the last ‘Home Portraiture’ Competition of the Amateur Photographer; the work which he contributed gaining for him the distinguished honour of a gold medal at the hands of the late J. R. Herbert, R.A., A. M. Rossi, and H. P. Robinson. Mr. Keighley’s skill as a writer is testified by the essay which accompanied ‘Prize Pictures’ (No. 1), in which were reproduced several of the photographs which secured him the gold medal referred to.”
Text by Charles W Hastings, editor of ‘The Photographic Societies’ Reporter’
Photo source by the British Library of London