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The Resource A tour in Upper Burma, B.H. Wiles

A tour in Upper Burma, B.H. Wiles

Label
A tour in Upper Burma
Title
A tour in Upper Burma
Statement of responsibility
B.H. Wiles
Title variation
Artist on a riverboat journey
Creator
Photographer
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Album of 160 original photographs taken by the painter Bernard Harper Wiles during a boat tour on the Irrawaddy River in Upper Burma in 1912.
Biographical or historical data
Artist and British Army officer.
Cataloging source
CLU
Characteristic
picture
Summary expansion
The photographer notes that he arrived in Burma on Coronation Day, probably that of King George V, June 22, 1911. The first three photographs were taken in Bhamo on the occasion of a military review of British troops by the Deputy Commission. There are also several other photos of Wiles on horseback commanding a cavalry regiment, and a remote British Army outpost, possibly servicing the Upper Burma Field Force, or the brigades of the British Burma Division. Numerous photographs document a trip Wiles made down the Irrawaddy River in 1912, traveling by sampan from Bhamo to Mandalay, stopping to camp, fish, hunt, and paint along the way. Accompanying him for all or part of the journey was the well-known Burmese artist Ba Ohn, one of Wiles' students. The expedition begins with a ten day campout near Sinkan, and a successful fowl hunting excursion. At Shwegu, he prepares his canvas and paints, and is visited by a group of curious Burmese men. Next stops are the village of Katha (known as the actual setting of George Orwell's novel Burmese Days), a place he calls Palweshee, and finally Mandalay with its many Buddhist temples, including the Mahawizaya Pagoda. On this journey, Wiles made several paintings; his captions identify the specific locations of these painting. At least two of the paintings are related to photographs in this album: Wiles' oil painting "Burmese Women by the Turtle Tank, Rangoon" is an expanded view of the photograph of Mrs. Ba Ohn; his watercolor "Honham Village, Upper Burma" resembles the photograph captioned "Cross over to Palweshee." Back in northern Burma's resource-rich Kachin state, he participates in a hunting expedition through the jungle, shooting an elephant, a sambar deer ("sambhur"), and some birds. He also photographs a strange cairn in the jungle which appears to mark a burial place. Local Burmese customs are documented in his photographs of a typical family at their humble yet pristine home of woven walls built on bamboo stilts, a vendor of ceramic water jugs piled high on his long dugout canoe, ox carts, various methods of fishing, and views of some riverside villages. Several photos show that Wiles had set up a studio of sorts in his home in Burma, where he mentored Burmese painters Ba Ohn (active 1924), and Maung Maung Gyi (1890-1942), perhaps also selling some of his works there. Wiles also influenced Ba Zaw (1891-1942) who mastered Western-style painting, and who may be the young man assisting and observing Wiles in one of the photographs. The 64 photographs at the end of the album were taken after the artist had returned to England; they document his wedding to Gwendolyn Parker in July 1919, his home Withleigh in 1920, near Withypool in Somerset, bilberry-picking in Withypool, his young children, and family events
Technique
not applicable
Label
A tour in Upper Burma, B.H. Wiles
Instantiates
Publication
Note
  • Title from photographer's caption on front pastedown
  • Box title reads: An Artist on a Riverboat Journey
  • All but two of the photographs are mounted on rectos and versos of leaves of brown paper, two per page; Wiles' handwritten captions below in white ink; two photographs laid in
  • Bound in a "Bedford" album of linen covered paper boards; lower board lacking, and numerous leaves disbound; cover title "Album" printed in brown within a calligraphic cartouche; brown paper pastedowns; small printed paper label on front pastedown of stationer Harry Johnson & Nephew, 3, St. Andrew's Street, Cambridge; album title hand-lettered in white ink: "A Tour in Upper Burma. B.H. Wiles. May 1912."
  • Additional information on the artist and his family is available on the W.G. Wiles website http://www.wgwiles.com/html/other_wiles_artists.html
  • Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94) in Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA
Color
black and white
Dimensions
19 x 24 cm (album)
Extent
1 album (160 photographic prints)
Note
Spec. Coll. copy: binding repaired and leaves rebound; bound in original gray [?] cloth upper board (with title "Album"), and new matching lower board. In modern beige cloth clamshell case. Purchased for Library Special Collections from Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts, 2015 with funds from the Southeast Asian Studies bibliographer, Jade Alburo.
Other physical details
gelatin silver
Primary support material
paper
Secondary support material
paper
Specific material designation
photoprint
System control number
  • (OCoLC)911430410
  • ucoclc911430410
Label
A tour in Upper Burma, B.H. Wiles
Publication
Note
  • Title from photographer's caption on front pastedown
  • Box title reads: An Artist on a Riverboat Journey
  • All but two of the photographs are mounted on rectos and versos of leaves of brown paper, two per page; Wiles' handwritten captions below in white ink; two photographs laid in
  • Bound in a "Bedford" album of linen covered paper boards; lower board lacking, and numerous leaves disbound; cover title "Album" printed in brown within a calligraphic cartouche; brown paper pastedowns; small printed paper label on front pastedown of stationer Harry Johnson & Nephew, 3, St. Andrew's Street, Cambridge; album title hand-lettered in white ink: "A Tour in Upper Burma. B.H. Wiles. May 1912."
  • Additional information on the artist and his family is available on the W.G. Wiles website http://www.wgwiles.com/html/other_wiles_artists.html
  • Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94) in Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA
Color
black and white
Dimensions
19 x 24 cm (album)
Extent
1 album (160 photographic prints)
Note
Spec. Coll. copy: binding repaired and leaves rebound; bound in original gray [?] cloth upper board (with title "Album"), and new matching lower board. In modern beige cloth clamshell case. Purchased for Library Special Collections from Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts, 2015 with funds from the Southeast Asian Studies bibliographer, Jade Alburo.
Other physical details
gelatin silver
Primary support material
paper
Secondary support material
paper
Specific material designation
photoprint
System control number
  • (OCoLC)911430410
  • ucoclc911430410

Library Locations

  • Charles E. Young Research LibraryBorrow it
    280 Charles E Young Dr N, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575, US
    34.0749691 -118.441466
  • Powell LibraryBorrow it
    120S Election Walk, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1450, US
    34.0716126 -118.4421809
  • Science and Engineering LibraryBorrow it
    8270 Boelter Hall, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-9810, US
    34.068987 -118.442659
  • UCLA LibraryBorrow it
    Los Angeles, CA, US
  • UCLA Library Special CollectionsBorrow it
    A1713 Charles E. Young Research Library, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575, US
    34.0749691 -118.441466
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