World’s oldest photo studio in India closes after 176 years

bourneBourne & Shepherd, the oldest photography studio in the world has put its shutters down after an unparalleled 176 years in business in Kolkata. The studio was started by Britons Samuel Bourne and Charles Shepherd around 1840.

Bourne & Shepherd is responsible for some of the most iconic photographs from the 19th and early 20th century, and at its peak the studio had agencies in London and Paris, and it was assigned important work such as the documentation of the Delhi Durbar held to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, as Emperor and Empress of India in 1911.

The owner of the studio Jayant Gandhi, eventually decided to end the legacy partly due to aging and also due to the fact the studio had been in decline for a while, since a fire struck it 24 years ago and a great part of its archival collection perished in the flames.

Some of the photographs from the studio are displayed in the Smithsonian Institute, the National Gallery of Portraits in London, and the Cambridge University library.