Celebrating the early history of photography in Birmingham.

Developed in Birmingham began in 2017 as a season of events in Birmingham which celebrated the early history of photography in the city, created by Pete James and Jo Gane. In 2020 Jo Gane, along with Philip Singleton and Anna Sparham formally established a Community Interest Company to continue with this work.

Pete James – Co-Founder

A legendary curator and force for good in photography, the late Pete James had an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of photography in Birmingham, developed through his dedicated work as Curator of Photographs for Library of Birmingham. He co-founded Developed in Birmingham with Jo Gane in 2017 as a platform for engagement with the city’s photographic history. We aim to continue to share knowledge with the same spirit of openness and development.

George Shaw (1817 – 1904) – Spiritual Founder

An early photographic pioneer and lecturer in Birmingham, Shaw connected the worlds of Science, Industry and the Arts as a key figure in the development of photography. As a self-educated son of a Dudley glassmaker, Shaw believed in education for all. He worked collaboratively with many photographers, educators, scientists and artists in the 19th Century. We hope to make connections and forge networks for good in a similar way.


Each of the Directors brings their photographic practices and individual specialisms to Developed In Birmingham.

Jo Gane – Processes

Jo is an artist and educator with a practice that involves working with 19th Century and analogue photographic processes. A lecturer in photography, she also enjoys leading workshops in photographic processes for interested and excited families, school classes and adults. Jo aims to practice and share photographic processes with a wide audience through Developed in Birmingham.

Philip Singleton – Place

Philip’s background as an architect and his passion for the built history of Birmingham informs his photographic practice. His experience in the public realm and business skills are key to the guidance of Developed in Birmingham. He enjoys exploring how the built environment of the city intersects with the history of the people inhabit these spaces.

Anna Sparham – Past 

Anna is a photography curator, photo historian and researcher. She has spent much of her career to date working with historic and contemporary photographic collections in the museum sector. Eager to get her teeth into researching this city’s rich photographic history Anna brings her experience in engaging with the photographic image, new and old, to Developed In Birmingham.

Pete James George Shaw