The Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
National Museum of African Art
Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge
Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria
S.O. Alonge seated outside his studio wearin...
Benin Chief with his traditional (extended) family,
celebrates his title taking, n.d.
Visit of Earl of Plymouth (second left) to the Oba of Benin
(center) at the Oba’s palace, 1935
Oba Akenzua II with his queens, the Iloi,
Benin City, 1956
Oba Akenzua II greets Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
on Royal Visit to Benin City, 1956
Ideal Studio portraits
Preliminary survey
of the Alonge collection
Bonsai Fine Art:
packing and shipping
the Alonge collection
Packing the glass
plates for shipment to
the Elisofon
Archives
Phase I:
Preservation and duplication
of Alonge glass plate negatives and film negatives
Collections Care and Preservation...
S.O. Alonge glass plate negatives
Archival four-flap enclosures and slotted boxes
for glass plate negatives
Conservation sink mats for fragile glass plates
Inspection and inventory of glass plate negatives,
NEDCC interpositives and duplicate negatives
NEDCC: Duplication and digitization of 120mm film negatives
Inspection and inventory of original120mm film negatives,
NEDCC interpositives and duplicate negatives
Phase I
Preservation survey:
Alonge vintage photographs and photo albums
Collections Care and Preservation Fund
Smithsonia...
Preservation survey:
Alonge artifacts
Collections Care and Preservation Fund
Smithsonian Institution, 2009
Phase II:
Preservation of photographic albums and prints
Collections Care and Preservation Fund
Smithsonian Institution, 2...
Exhibition plans:
Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge
Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria
National Museum of African...
S.O. Alonge
Early Years
1930s – 1940s
Ideal Photo Studio,
Benin City
Ideal Studio portraits
Picturing a New Society
Benin Social Life
1930s – 1950s
Prize winner, c. 1939
Royal Court Photography 1933 - 1978
“Interior of the Royal Palace, destroyed in a fire, bronzes on the ground”.
Unknown photographer, Benin City, 1897. Pitt R...
Oba Ovonramwen on way to exile, on board Ship Ivy, J. A. Green, c. 1897
Alonge copy negative Himbury allbum 1995-0024-0031
Benin plaque (82-5-3) Benin king (85-19-12)
Commemorative objects:
Photographs in other
mediums
Commemorative cloth, Funeral Oba Akenzua II, 1978 (2004-10-4)
In Memory of….
Alonge commemorative objects
The End
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
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The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989

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Presentation delivered by Amy Staples, Senior Archivist at the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art, at the Smithsonian Archives Fair on October 22, 2010 in Washington, DC.

The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989
Delivered at the Smithsonian Archives Fair by Amy J. Staples, Senior Archivist, Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, National Museum of African Art on October 22, 2010 in Washington, D.C. As Royal photographer to the Oba (king) of Benin, Akenzua II (1933-1978), Chief S.O. Alonge documented the ritual, pageantry, and regalia of the Obas, their wives and retainers for over a half-century. This presentation showcases the Chief S.O. Alonge photographic collection and efforts to preserve the glass plates, large format negatives, photographic albums and hand-colored prints through Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF) in 2009 and 2010. The Chief S.O. Alonge collection will be showcased in a major photographic exhibition at the National Museum of African Art in 2012.

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The Chief S.O. Alonge Photographic Collection: Royal Court of Benin photographer, Nigeria, 1926 – 1989

  1. 1. The Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives National Museum of African Art
  2. 2. Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria S.O. Alonge seated outside his studio wearing formal attire and spats. Benin City, c. 1942 (self-portrait)
  3. 3. Benin Chief with his traditional (extended) family, celebrates his title taking, n.d.
  4. 4. Visit of Earl of Plymouth (second left) to the Oba of Benin (center) at the Oba’s palace, 1935
  5. 5. Oba Akenzua II with his queens, the Iloi, Benin City, 1956
  6. 6. Oba Akenzua II greets Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on Royal Visit to Benin City, 1956
  7. 7. Ideal Studio portraits
  8. 8. Preliminary survey of the Alonge collection
  9. 9. Bonsai Fine Art: packing and shipping the Alonge collection
  10. 10. Packing the glass plates for shipment to the Elisofon Archives
  11. 11. Phase I: Preservation and duplication of Alonge glass plate negatives and film negatives Collections Care and Preservation Fund Smithsonian Institution, 2009
  12. 12. S.O. Alonge glass plate negatives
  13. 13. Archival four-flap enclosures and slotted boxes for glass plate negatives
  14. 14. Conservation sink mats for fragile glass plates
  15. 15. Inspection and inventory of glass plate negatives, NEDCC interpositives and duplicate negatives
  16. 16. NEDCC: Duplication and digitization of 120mm film negatives
  17. 17. Inspection and inventory of original120mm film negatives, NEDCC interpositives and duplicate negatives
  18. 18. Phase I Preservation survey: Alonge vintage photographs and photo albums Collections Care and Preservation Fund Smithsonian Institution, 2009
  19. 19. Preservation survey: Alonge artifacts Collections Care and Preservation Fund Smithsonian Institution, 2009
  20. 20. Phase II: Preservation of photographic albums and prints Collections Care and Preservation Fund Smithsonian Institution, 2010
  21. 21. Exhibition plans: Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria National Museum of African Art February 2012 – August 2012
  22. 22. S.O. Alonge Early Years 1930s – 1940s Ideal Photo Studio, Benin City
  23. 23. Ideal Studio portraits
  24. 24. Picturing a New Society Benin Social Life 1930s – 1950s
  25. 25. Prize winner, c. 1939
  26. 26. Royal Court Photography 1933 - 1978
  27. 27. “Interior of the Royal Palace, destroyed in a fire, bronzes on the ground”. Unknown photographer, Benin City, 1897. Pitt Rivers Museum, U. of Oxford. PRM 1998.208.15.11
  28. 28. Oba Ovonramwen on way to exile, on board Ship Ivy, J. A. Green, c. 1897 Alonge copy negative Himbury allbum 1995-0024-0031
  29. 29. Benin plaque (82-5-3) Benin king (85-19-12)
  30. 30. Commemorative objects: Photographs in other mediums
  31. 31. Commemorative cloth, Funeral Oba Akenzua II, 1978 (2004-10-4)
  32. 32. In Memory of…. Alonge commemorative objects
  33. 33. The End

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