Simpson, Benjamin


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(1831–1923), British amateur photographer who served in the Indian Medical Service (Bengal) from 1853 until retiring as Surgeon General in 1890. During the intervals of a busy career he established a reputation as one of the most distinguished amateur photographers in India. In the early 1860s he made several journeys to north-east India to photograph racial types, and a series of 80 of these portraits received a gold medal at the London International Exhibition of 1862; the same year he received the gold medal of the Bengal Photographic Society for portraits, and for ‘the best single photograph taken in India’. A number of his unusually sensitive ethnographical studies were later published in The People of India (1868–75). A series of 76 views of Kandahar, taken while serving as Deputy Surgeon General with the South Afghanistan Field Force in 1881, was later marketed by Bourne & Shepherd.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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