An Impression—The River Medlock

An Impression—The River Medlock

Two of English photographer J. Dudley Johnston’s early well known works date to 1906: this study, known as An Impression—The River Medlock, as well as Liverpool—an Impression, which can also be found on this site.  Also known as Manchester—An Impression, this hand-pulled photogravure was used as the frontis to the catalogue of the fourth Northern Photographic Exhibition. The exhibit  was held in Liverpool, England in 1907 at the Walker Art Gallery from March 22-April 13, 1907.  The following are several period observations relating to this image and it’s publication:

“Mr. Johnston is new to me, but his success is apparently no crowning accident, as his two other exhibits, especially the River Medlock, with its fine tonal range, fully prove.” 1.

“The catalogue is the finest exhibition catalogue we have seen. On the same lines as those of previous Northerns, it is somewhat larger in size, profusely illustrated, and seven of the award pictures are reproduced. Of the 23 illustrations, the “River Medlock” of D. Johnston, and “Miss Jessie M. King,” by Craig Annan, are photogravures.”  2.

“The fine picture reproduced on the opposite page is another example of the work of J. Dudley Johnston, whose photographic career promises to be of the most successful description. Mr. Johnston is an energetic member of the Liverpool Amateur Photographic Association, and he has been well to the front in making the present Northern Exhibition the success it has proved to be. “An Impression—the River Medlock” is on exhibition at the Northern, and is reproduced in photogravure as the frontispiece to the fine catalogue of the exhibition. It was also hung at the last Salon.” 3.

“The River Medlock is a river of Greater Manchester in North West England. It rises near Oldham and flows, south and west, for ten miles to join the River Irwell in the extreme southwest of Manchester city centre.” 4.

Print details and provenance: verso: pencil inscription in hand of Margaret Harker:
“An Impression- The River Medlock.”  Photogravure print
of photograph by J. Dudley Johnston, Hon. F.R.P.S.
c  1911 .  Presented by Mrs. Florence Johnston
to Margaret Harker in 1956



1.  The Salon: by A.C.R. Carter: in: Photograms of the Year: Francis James Mortimer: London: Dawbarn & Ward, Ltd.: 1906: p. 88
2. The Northern Exhibition: By our Special Representative at Liverpool: in: ‪The Photographic News: Edited by F.J. Mortimer, F.R.P.S.: Published by the Proprietors: London:‬: March 29, 1907: p. 255
3. ‪Ibid:‬ April 12, 1907 p. 306
4. Wikipedia website entry for River Medlock accessed 2011

An Impression—The River Medlock

Image Dimensions17.7 x 13.2 cm

Support DimensionsDetail: 28.2 x 21.5 cm (cropped to just outside plate marks)