Tully Potter on the Tully Potter Collection

Tully Potter is not only the author of the massive Toccata Press biography of Adolf Busch (currently out of print but undergoing preparation for a new edition) but also the owner of a vast archive of musicians’ photos – which is open to public enquiry. Here he introduces the collection:

I have always enjoyed collecting old postcards and photographs of musicians, and during the eleven years when I edited what is now Classical Recordings Quarterly, my collection came in useful for illustrating the articles.

By coincidence in 1999, the year I retired from my main job in Fleet Street, I came across Richard Burch, a wizard at restoring old photographs. We used to live quite close to each other. Thus The Tully Potter Collection was born, with Richard curating and me collecting – and we now hold more than 20,000 images on our system.

Because my own interests tend towards singers and string-players, we are particularly strong in those departments, but we aim to have at least one picture of every important musician of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We sell the images at very reasonable rates.

One of my favourite pictures, which has been in demand recently, features Albert Sammons in uniform playing his violin on top of a tank in Trafalgar Square in 1916, to aid army recruitment. Another shows the sopranos Lotte Lehmann and Elisabeth Schumann greeting each other warmly and yet another depicts the tenor Tito Schipa with one of his two pet monkeys on each shoulder.

Some of the images can be viewed online, at www.tullypottercollection.com. Feel free to contact us through the site with your requests.