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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John Burke

Other: J. Burke 
Joint: Burke & Baker 
Dates:  1843 (ca) - 1900
Born:  Ireland (possibly India, Lahore)
Active:  India / Afghanistan
Active as a commercial photographer from 1861 with studios in Muree, India and Peshewar, Afghanistan. His photographs illustrated ‘Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir‘ by H.H. Cole. In partnership with William Baker 1871 - 1880. Burke was an official photographer to the army during the Second Afghan War 1879 - 1880. Opened a studio in his home town of Lahore in 1885 and was in business till 1903.
The Getty ULAN website says that he made a record of the archaeological sites of Kashmir in the late 1860s for the Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey, North Western Provinces, Lt. H.H. Cole. Accompanied the British Army expedition to Afghanistan in 1878, although not an official photographer albums of his photographs of the Second Afghan War were sold in Britain.
A collection of his photographs is held by Brown University Library.
[Hugh Ashley Rayner and Tony Davis are constructing a catalogue of the plate numbers and any assistance would be appreciated. Feb 2007.]

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If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful.
Family history 
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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

Commercial, India
Active 1861-1900, studios at Murree and Peshawar. Photographer of the Second Afghan War 1878-80. His photographs also appear in H. H. Cole's Illustrations of ancient buildings in Kashmir (1869). In partnership with William Baker as Baker and Burke, 1871-80. Photographed the Amir of Afghanistan on his return from the Ambala Durbar in 1869. Photographed Second Afghan War 1878-80. Opened Lahore studio 1885. Firm ceased trading 1903. His son William Henry (‘Willie’) Burke, born in 1861, was employed in his father's firm and later, c.1910, opened his own studios in Madras and Ootacamund.
John Burke was buried in the Roman Catholic Cathedral, Lahore, 28 May 1900, aet.57.[1]
For references for Burke to accompany Cole, vide Government of India, Public Proceedings, Oct 1868 (3 October, Index 3 and 4, p.3939). 

  1. Λ IOR/N/1/283/f. 149. 

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Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Internet resources

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John Burke's Afghanistan ... 
Brown University Library, Special Collections, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collections 
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