What's your role at Bridgeman Images?
My role involves liaising with new and existing Content Partners worldwide to build a strong and long-lasting relationship between them and Bridgeman Images.
My goal is not just to ensure revenue generation, but also to support and spotlight the incredible collections of images and footage provided by our partners, which spans across centuries and media.
In addition to this, I help with sourcing new Partners and administering the Content Partnership team, so I get to liaise with lots of staff members, too!
What do you love most about your job?
I love getting to know and caring for our Content Partners and learning about their collections. It is a privilege to have access to such an incredible amount of images and clips from all over the world. It’s also exciting to meet people from many different backgrounds and exchange knowledge and expertise. Learning is what excites me the most, and there is always something (or someone) new to learn about here.
What misconceptions do people most commonly have about the archive?
I think people often do not realise the amount of work done behind the scenes to keep the archive live, up-to-date, and running. Bridgeman Images holds more than 4 million image and video assets which need to be checked, catalogued, and made available online; plus, new assets are ingested every day. The work is non-stop and everyone has to coordinate with one another to run the archive smoothly. It’s an exciting job – and definitely never boring!
Francesca's top pics from our archive
From Rome, with love – Judith and Holofernes by Caravaggio
This painting by Caravaggio is probably the first artwork I’ve fallen in love with when I started studying art history in high school. Judith is such a strong historical character, and her depiction in this very dramatic painting is just perfect (especially to the eyes of a 14-year-old!). Coming from Rome, I’ve always had a strong bond with Caravaggio’s oeuvre; he spent most of his career in Rome, where many of his most important works are still located.
Re-writing history - Officer of the Hussars by Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley is one of my favourite artists right now. This work places a young black man in the traditional setting of an Old Master painting – Théodore Géricault’s The Officer of the Hussars. Wiley’s paintings are huge and beautiful to look at, but they also prompt us to reflect upon the history of art, and how much we are used to employing a Western perspective on history and culture. This and other Wiley’s paintings raise questions about power, privilege, identity, and above all highlight the absence or relegation of Black figures within Western art.
Dance the war away – Clip of Josephine Baker in various performances, neon lights of the Ziegfield Follies and the Moulin Rouge, early 1920s
I couldn’t help but pick this clip of Josephine Baker, all-round superstar and World War II spy. Born into poverty and discrimination, she moved to France at the age of 19 and became a Jazz Age sensation with her fun dance performances. During World War II, she then became a fearless spy for France, gathering secret information at diplomatic events but also hiding refugees and Resistance members in her quarters. Her passion for justice and equality is simply remarkable; she was a true hero, someone to still look up to today.
What every Sunday should look like – The Explorer by Rebecca Campbell
I wish I had a library as big as this one at home! This painting by Rebecca Campbell is the epitome of chilling on a Sunday evening when you can lose yourself in a book and enjoy the purrs of your pets. Campbell is part of Bridgeman Studio, which works collaboratively with a selection of leading contemporary and emerging artists. This is a very exciting part of Bridgeman Images, and it gives the chance to young artists to be represented and promoted internationally while getting royalties to sustain their work.
Nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone – Mont Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cézanne
As far as landscape paintings go, Cézanne’s depiction of Mont Sainte-Victoire is probably my favourite one. I have always admired Cézanne’s ability to mix the rational quality of geometry with the strong feelings evoked by juxtapositions of colours. He painted this landscape over 60 times: a clear sign of his affection for the site. This is also a painting I tried to emulate recently, during my first attempt at using watercolours. But I won’t talk about that…
Everyone is an artist – Portrait of the German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) by Laurence Sudre
The very first senior thesis I wrote for my B.A. in Art History was about Joseph Beuys’ performance in New York in 1974, I Like America and America Likes Me. Since then, I have felt a strong connection to Beuys’ works and ideas, especially concerning ecology and the power and responsibility of art in changing socio-political structures. He was a controversial artist in some ways, but his teachings and his universalist idea that everyone is an artist (in its widest sense) stay with me to this day.
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