Herbert Lambert

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Herbert Lambert
Herbert Lambert F.R.P.S. of Bath (and, later, Manager of Elliot & Fry) (8385714211).jpg
Herbert Richard Lambert

Died7 March 1936 (aged 53–54)
United Kingdom

Herbert Richard Lambert, FRPS, (1882– 7 March 1936, 53-54 years of age at time of death)[1] was a British portrait photographer known for his portrayals of professional musicians and composers including Gustav Holst.

In 1923 he published Modern British Composers: Seventeen Portraits in collaboration with Sir Eugene Goossens,[2] and in 1926, he became managing director of the Elliott & Fry portrait studio.[3] In 1930, he published Studio portrait lighting, a technical guidebook.[4] He is also responsible for salvaging much of the 19th-century photography of Henry Fox Talbot, by re-photographing the remains of Talbot's photographs.[5]

In addition to photography, Lambert was also an amateur maker of musical instruments, specialising in harpsichords and clavichords. In 1927, he lent a clavichord which he had built to Herbert Howells; Howells used it to compose a 12-piece collection, which he named "Lambert's Clavichord".[6][7]

Howells also introduced Lambert to Gerald Finzi,[8] whose 1936 Interlude for oboe & string quartet, Op. 21 was inspired by Lambert.[9]

A Quaker, Lambert was imprisoned as a conscientious objector during the First World War.[5] He lived in Combe Down, Bath, Somerset.[10]


  1. ^ HERBERT LAMBERT, from the British Journal of Photography, volume 83; 13 March 1936; p 164
  2. ^ Modern British Composers. Seventeen Portraits by Herbert Lambert, with a Foreword on Contemporary British Music by Eugene Goossens, at WorldCat; retrieved 26 July 2011
  3. ^ Herbert Lambert at the National Portrait Gallery; recovered 26 July 2011
  4. ^ Studio portrait lighting at WorldCat; retrieved 26 July 2011
  5. ^ a b The magic image: the genius of photography; by Cecil Beaton and Gail Buckland (1975, Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  6. ^ Herbert Howells Performed on Lautenwerck Archived 2 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine, by Edward Brinkley, from the South Central Music Bulletin (Volume IV, number 1 – Fall 2005); page 54; "named in honor of Herbert Lambert, who in 1927 let Howells borrow one of his hand-made clavichords"; retrieved 26 July 2005
  7. ^ A Harpsichord Odyssey (I) by Edgar Hunt, at the British Harpsichord Society; posted online 27 November 2005; retrieved 26 July 2011
  8. ^ Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music, by Diana McVeagh, page 63; 2010, Boydell & Brewer (via Google Books)
  9. ^ Interlude for oboe & string quartet, Op. 21 at Allmusic, by Joseph Stevenson; retrieved 26 July 2011
  10. ^ The art of accompaniment from a thorough-bass: as practised in the XVIIth & XVIIIth centuries, by F. T. Arnold; originally published by Oxford University Press, 1931; page xxvii; via Google Books

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