Father Mackey

From Monoskop
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Father Mackey (1851–1935) was a English-born amateur photographer.

Mackey epitomises the private photographer: a learned scholar who knew the relevance of what he was looking for and at; precise, as befits the “age of the tripod,” technically expert, poetic, he had a great love of architecture. A tireless walker, he made excursions throughout Italy, and to Sardinia and Greece, c.1884– 1902, and because he travelled off the souvenir routes, he photographed many places not covered by commercial photographers. His depictions of the nuraghe in Sardinia are the earliest in existence. Equally rare is his record of the natural life of the Italian countryside, a subject not recognised by the professionals. Rarer still is the way he portrays the world for it is seen through the eyes of a Dominican priest who should not have been so interested in transitory, worldly things; self-portraits depict him deep in poetic thought in his flowing habit amidst pagan, classical ruins. Born Erdington, Birmingham, Daniel Mackey studied law (1869–1871) then the priesthood at Woodchester where, after becoming a Lector in Sacred Theology at Louvain in 1874, he taught philosophy and canon law until summoned to Rome in 1881 as editor of the Leonine edition of the works of St Thomas Aquinas which he continued for the rest of his life. He also associated with artists, such as Rodin, art dealers and collectors. He presented his photographic albums to the British and American Archeological Society of Rome (one remains). He gave to the British School at Rome c.1913 his negatives (now lost) and nearly 2000 prints, together with a detailed catalogue, which remained forgotten until 1999. They are now of great interest [1].