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Simon Schama's profile

When Professor Simon Schama visited us recently, during the making of The Face of Britain, the upcoming 5-part TV series about British portrait history, we naturally took lots of photos. One of these was against the light and this has turned out to provide a reasonable profile! We thought you might all like to see a copy!

TV programme in edit

The Face of Britain, a major 5-part TV series presenting British portrait history and presented by Professor Simon Schama is now in edit. The programmes are to be screened in the Autumn, with one of the broadcasts containing a section about silhouette portraiture.

Filming this week

The time has come! Oxford Film and Television are down to film here for The Face of Britain this weekend.


We are looking forward to meeting historian Simon Schama and the crew. 


Recent questions, recent discoveries

Over the last few months we've received some really great emails from individuals and organisations asking questions about silhouette artists and techniques. We are always happy to try and answer enquiries so, if there's a silhouette that's puzzling you, please do take it's picture and sent it along for our diagnosis!

More on the TV programme

Oxford Film & Television, who specialise in award-winning factual programmes, are currently producing, The Face of Britain, a major 5-part series presenting a history of the nation through portraiture

Professor Simon Schama will present the series, which is made in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery for BBC 2.

One of the programmes is being made with a section focused on silhouette portraiture, so be sure to set your video or smart TV to record the series.

TV programme soon

For several months, we've been talking with a TV production company about participating in a 5-part BBC series focused on portrait history. It seems that the series is now confirmed and that filming will be taking place over the next few weeks.

One of the programmes will be running a short section about silhouette portrait art, hence our discussions, and we hope to be demonstrating the use of the silhouette machine for the presenter. More about him later but, for now, let's just say he's a well known name . . . 


Student inputs

For the last few months, we have had several European students contributing to the development of the Profiles website, while they undertake work placements with us. We are especially grateful to Alina and Lena from Germany, and Magdalena from  Austria, for their hard work processing and tagging images of silhouettes. 

Questionnaire activity

We are really starting to get some good feedback now from our Family History Group questionnaire, in a month or two we will collate the data and share the findings with you all. At the individual level, a lot of Group members are now making contact and telling us about their particular portrait silhouette collections and some great information is coming to light. In one instance, we have even been able to assign faces to the original couple occupying a significant local building! This is exactly the sort of finding we hoped the Profiles project would generate. 

Science Festival silhouettes

This February on the 14th and 15th, we are participating in the Brighton Science Festival's 'Bright Sparks' weekend. Come along with your youngsters and have a silhouette portrait made free of charge by one of our volunteers as they demonstrate the 19th C silhouette machine replicas we have built for the Profiles project.


Hove Park Upper School, Nevill Road, Hove BN3 7BN, 10:00am - 5:00pm - See here for further information about the weekend and entrance fees.

Family History Group Questionnaire

Over the last few weeks of 2014 and ongoing through January and February, we are liaising with Family History Groups all over the UK, asking Membership Secretaries to circulate a questionnaire about silhouette ownership. We hope that all of you belonging to Groups and owning silhouettes will participate in the survey, which is designed to allow us to calculate the prevalence of historic portrait silhouettes within a group of self-declared history enthusiasts. Many thanks in advance for your assistance.





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