Valentine’s Day – GP Abraham’s postcard of a couple

Happy Valentine’s Day! We are marking the occasion with this postcard of a (hopefully) happy couple, photographed by GP Abraham.

George Perry Abraham was born in Devizes, Wiltshire, in 1846. He began his career as a photographer with Elliot & Fry of Baker Street, London. In 1862, he moved to Keswick to apprentice to Alfred Pettitt, at his studio on Ambleside Road.

Four years later, Abraham set up his own photography studio on Lake Road, where the outdoors department store George Fisher’s now stands. He made a living from studio portraits, but his twin passions were landscape photography and mountaineering. The studio became a family business that lasted until the 1970s.

The undated postcard shows a young couple. The man is seated in a grand upholstered chair in a photography studio, with his female partner stood next to him. The woman wears a long dress with a high neckline and elaborate ruffles on the skirt, from waist to hem. The man wears a dark suit and cravat, and his legs are crossed at the knee. Judging by the clothes, this photograph was probably taken at some point between the 1880s and 1910s. Abraham’s studio address is on the back of the postcard.

As you may have guessed from his name, GP Abraham was the father of photographers George and Ashley Abraham. They were keen climbers who began taking one of their father’s cameras out onto the crags to capture their experiences in the late 1880s. The Abrahams’ photographic record of rock climbers in the Lake District is now world-renowned. One of their climbing partners was Welsh mountaineer Owen Glynne Jones, and their images appeared in Glynne’s ‘Rock Climbing in the English Lake District’ (1897).

GP Abraham was still fairly successful within his lifetime. He married Mary Dixon in Cockermouth in 1870, and they had four sons together. Abraham became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1898, and he passed away in 1923.

We hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day, and we look forward to seeing you now the museum has reopened for 2024.


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