Our Kitchen | Ironing Day

Our Kitchen | Ironing Day

Our Kitchen, better known as Ironing Day, is a prime example of an oversized and framed carbon print by British pictorialist and founding Linked Ring Brotherhood member Alexander Keighley. (1861-1947) Dating to 1904 or perhaps before, (1.) it’s shown here in its original quarter-sawn stained white oak frame made by the Derby frame makers Richard Keene Ltd. The presentation is all the more remarkable because this firm’s patriarch, Richard Keene, (1825-1894) was also an early member of the Linked Ring. Keene was an early Derby photographer who went on to be a founding member of The Derby Photographic Society.

In 1904, Ironing Day, #156, was exhibited by Alex Keighley (2.) as part of a large group of 219 photographs entered by English, French and American photographers in the Pictorial Photography section of the City of Bradford Cartwright Memorial Hall Inaugural Exhibition. Officially opened by the Prince of Wales on May 4th, it ran until October of that year. Ironing Day was published later that year as a full-page halftone in The American Annual of Photography (Times-Bulletin) for 1904.

The photograph was apparently quite well received, and had at least one imitator four years out:

In 1908, the editors of the Amateur Photographer, commenting on a Mr. F. Appleyard’s entry as part of the Hartlepools Society in the Northumberland and Durham Federation Competition, said:

“F. Appleyard has a remarkably fine print entitled “Ironing Day,” though it inevitably suggests Keighley‘s famous picture of the same title as being the inspiration.”  ( Jan. 14, 1908 issue)

print notes: On frame verso, pasted to paper dust cover: (removed for conservation)

brown paper engraved label: 7.5 x 6.1 cm:


white paper label: (4.7 x 13.2 cm) black ink script in author’s hand:

“Our Kitchen”

by Alex. Keighley, Steeton High Hall


1. Alexander Keighley first moved to the location where this photograph was taken-his family’s residence Steeton High Hall in Yorkshire, in 1897. He had formerly resided at Flosh House in Keighley, Yorks.
2. Alexander Keighley’s 1904 Bradford Exhibition photographs included:

81. Ploughing in Tuscany
85. Grace before Meat
111. Peace
129. The Sheep-fold
139. Picardy Pastoral
156. Ironing Day
158. The White Sail

Our Kitchen | Ironing Day

Image Dimensions48.5 x 22.3 sepia, or single transfer (reversed) brown carbon print (glass removed)

Support Dimensions49.5 x 23.1 cm off-white paperboard primary support | 65.5 x 39.2  cm quarter-sawn stained white oak frame