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Hugh Exton's Geni Profile

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Hugh Exton

Birthdate: (91)
Birthplace: Western Cape, South Africa
Death: circa 1955 (86-94)
Immediate Family:

Son of Hugh Exton and Jacomina Hendrina Exton
Brother of Joseph Albertus Exton and Van der Poel Exton

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Hugh Exton

Hugh Exton, son of Hugh Exton the "Doctor of Medicine" was a self taught photographer.

(Please take note that these notes have been removed from Hugh Exton the father and placed in Hugh Exton the son's profile, where they belong!!)

"Polokwane (previously Pietersburg), the capital of the Limpopo Province (previously Northern Province), has an unusual cultural attraction. Its history is depicted through photography and is housed in a museum building dedicated only to this one exhibition.

What makes the exhibition so remarkable is that it begins just about when the town is established in the 1890s and goes on for the next 50 years. Moreover, it is based entirely on the work of one photographer, Hugh Exton, -a man who lived to become 91 years old.

The exhibition is housed in the first Dutch Reformed church, which is right in the civic centre and has been restored after having been used as a shop for years. There are 23 000 negatives, printed on glass, stacked in cabinets and presently being identified and classified.

There are also some of Exton's appointment books, recording minutely every shot he took, its cost and the subject. When this was auctioned off, it was first sent to the National Archives in Pretoria but has now been returned to Polokwane (previously Pietersburg).

Exton photographed everybody - whites and blacks, Afrikaners and Jews, hunters, migrant labourers off to the mines, proud families of all races. He could often be seen on the streets of his beloved town, photographing everything in it.

A visit to the exhibition gives a clear picture of what the town looked like during its first fifty years, because Exton also recorded historical events, including the opening of the railhead, a visit by General Louis Botha and the office of the local newspaper." (Regret, forgot to take note of the source document details - Caroline Balona)

and from Wikipedia:

Hugh Exton (26 March 1864 Western Cape - 1955) was a South African self-taught photographer noted for creating more than 23000 glass slides during his career spanning 1892 to 1945, and preserved at the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum, a former Dutch Reformed church built in Pietersburg in the 1890s. [1] He was the son of physician, anthropologist, geologist and collector, [2] Hugh Exton (1833-1903) F.G.S., who was President of the South African Geological Society from its founding in 1895, and Jacomina Hendrina van der Poel. [3][4][5] Exton moved north from Cape Town in 1886, visiting the Marabastad Goldfields near Pietersburg, eventually settling in the town in 1899. [6] He photographed a wide variety of historic events, including the Anglo-Boer War, documenting ordinary people and celebrities in the dress of the period, the architecture of the time, as well as images of the local industry and trade. He kept meticulous notes in appointment books, recording the details of every photograph he took. Exton's formal portraits of young dandies in three-piece suits, loving couples and demure farmers’ wives were produced in his studio around the turn of the 20th century. His collection of images traces the first 50 years of Pietersburg. A photo album with images taken by Exton and inscribed ‘Souvenir of Northern Transvaal’ was presented to Chaim Weizmann by the Pietersburg Zionist Society in March 1932. [7]

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Hugh Exton's Timeline

March 26, 1864
Western Cape, South Africa
Age 90