Jon's Pics & Clips

From movie legend and speed-freak Steve McQueen to the sublime paintings of Rothko, discover our Head of Finance's top pics and clips in the archive 

1. What is your role at Bridgeman?

I head up the finance department. Day to day I manage my team’s responsibility for processing all the financial transactions for the Bridgeman Group as well as the internal reporting of sales against targets and monitoring of financial performance against budgets.

I work with the directors on various business development projects and I provide analysis for our growth strategies to make the best revenues out of our extensive and ever-growing archive.


2. What do you love most about the job?

Every day is different, Bridgeman has an entrepreneurial atmosphere and I like the spontaneity this creates.

I like that the management team values the quality and depth of information that we have for new understandings of our business which can inform our strategies. I like even more that we have reliable data we can analyse quickly.

The staff here are very knowledgeable in their areas, passionate about what they do and this is a relaxed and creative place to work.


3. What misconceptions do clients most commonly have about the archive?

That it is just a fine art archive, that we just licence to print publishers – these misconceptions do still exist.

Some clients don’t appreciate how we can combine old and new technology – our physical archive of large and medium format transparencies can be digitally scanned to a very high resolution, giving extraordinary detail. Such detail enables clients to print on a very large scale or if used in the digital domain, they become a new macro photographic view that transforms the artwork.


Jon Hulse's favourite images and clips in the archive are...




American actor Steve McQueen and his moto Triumph on the set of the film The Great Esape by John Sturges, 1963 / Photo © Collection CSFF / Bridgeman Images





1. Steve McQueen and Motorcycles

Bridgeman’s archive has some wonderful photography from the movies whether it’s the golden age of Hollywood or the Nouvelle Vague of France.

Many retail strategies now promote their brands’ past glories and the trends for re-issuing old designs and retro as a theme for new designs show no signs of ending. Triumph Motorcycles continues the legacy of the original company which closed in the 1980s. It has a very strong brand association with Steve McQueen (here in the 1960s with his Triumph Bonneville) to give their new bikes a sprinkle of vintage stardust. I should declare an interest – my Bonneville gets me to work and home every day.



2. Neoclassical Interpretation of the Classical World

Having taken a degree in Classics I have a great fondness not only for art and architecture from antiquity but also neoclassical art like this that tells a complex story through exceptional technique.

There is so much to appreciate here: the staging, colours and light, but the part I like most is the inclusion of Plato (the figure sitting at the end of the bed) into a scene he wasn’t actually part of when it happened. As the chronicler of the event he is so important, and his presence in the picture, shown without the emotional intensity of the others in the scene, is as if he is a ghost from the future.



The Death of Socrates, 1787 (oil on canvas), Jacques Louis David (1748-1825) / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA / Bridgeman Images



Red, Orange, Orange on Red, 1962 (oil on canvas), Mark Rothko (1903-70) / Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri, USA / Funds given by the Shoenberg Foundation, Inc. / Bridgeman Images



3. Rothko

Rothko was the first modern artist I really engaged with when I went to the Tate Modern’s retrospective in 2008. Whenever I have seen his work in person, in a quiet moment, you can feel yourself sinking into the canvas - brighter colours for inspiration and darker colours for reflection. Sometimes the archive becomes a holiday planner: when it is next on view I should go to Saint Louis, Missouri for this one.



4. Atomic Bomb Footage

This is one of our newest collections and has some breath-taking footage of atomic bomb tests. Though records of test explosions these immediately remind you that similar weapons were used in war. Even a short clip leaves a significant and complex impression: it is a record of humanity’s knowledge, technical achievement and destructive ambition, of the phenomenal power in the stuff of the universe.


First air-dropped Soviet atomic bomb test (Joe 3), Semipalatinsk Test Site, USSR, 1951 / Bridgeman Footage



Studio of Nadar at 35 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris, c.1855 (b/w photo), Nadar, (Gaspard Felix Tournachon) (1820-1910) / Private Collection / Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Images




5. Photography of Nadar

I am a keen photographer and love the portraiture of Nadar. One of the many strengths of the archive here is the depth of art and social history. While we have a number of his portraits in the archive it is also wonderful to be able to show the additional context images like this one which provide for the life and work of the photographer with his famous brand name on the front of his studio.




6. Estorick Collection

Seeing images from the Estorick Collection is a (very slightly) bitter sweet experience – one of my first job applications when I moved to London was to work there but they turned me down. It’s a long time ago now, I really should forget about it, and it doesn’t stop me enjoying images like this which are a great example of the diversity of our archive.


Music, 1911 (oil on canvas), Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) / Estorick Collection, London, UK / Bridgeman Images


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