Margaret Harker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Margaret Florence Harker (17 January 1920 – 16 February 2013), was a British photographer and historian of photography. She was the UK's first woman professor of photography, founded the country's first photography degree course, and was the first woman to be president of the Royal Photographic Society.

Early life[edit]

Margaret Florence Harker was born on 17 January 1920 at 18 Queens Road, Southport, Lancashire, the daughter of Thomas Henry Harker (1879–1947), a medical practitioner, and his wife, Ethel Dean Harker , née Dyson (1894–1975).[1] She was educated at Howell's School in Denbigh, followed by the Southport School of Art.[1] Her father was a keen amateur photographer, and her parents supported her when from 1940 to 1943, she studied photography at the Regent Street Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster).[1][2]


Harker started her career an architectural photographer, contributing to the National Buildings Record beginning from its 1941 establishment, and in excess of 1,000 of her negatives are held by its successor body at Historic England.[1]

Harker joined the Royal Photographic Society in 1941, was elected a Fellow in 1943, served on its council from 1951 to 1976, and chaired the applied photographic distinction panel from 1951 until 1992.[2][3] Harker also became the honorary curator of the society's collection of historic photographs.[2] From 1958 to 1960, Harker was the first woman to be president of the Royal Photographic Society.[2]

In 1943, Harker became a full-time lecturer at Regent Street Polytechnic, and in 1959 became the head of its School of Photography.[1][3]

Harker started the UK's first degree course in photography at the Polytechnic of Central London.[4] In 1972, when it became the University of Westminster, she was appointed as one of its inaugural first six professors.[3]


  • The Linked Ring: The Secession Movement in Photography, 1892-1910 (1979)
  • Henry Peach Robinson, Master of Photographic Art, 1830-1901 (1988)

Personal life[edit]

St Bartholomew's Church, Egdean, West Sussex, England

On 20 December 1972, Harker married fellow photographer Richard Farrand (1916–1982).[1][2]

Later life[edit]

Harker died on 16 February 2013, of heart failure, after having suffered from dementia, at The Anchorage Care Home in Pulborough, and was buried in the churchyard of St Bartholomew's Church, Egdean.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Pritchard, Michael. "Harker, Margaret Florence (1920–2013)". ONDB. OUP. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Pritchard, Michael (13 March 2013). "Margaret Harker obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 November 2017 – via
  3. ^ a b c "Margaret Harker". The Daily Telegraph. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2017 – via
  4. ^ a b "Professor Margaret Harker, former Head of School of Photography, dies at 93". Retrieved 21 November 2017.