Clarence Philip Ouless

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One of Clarence Ouless's earliest portraits, thought to date from 1873
A confirmation portrait by Clarence Ouless, taken in 1880

Clarence Philip Ouless was the third son of Philip Ouless, probably the most accomplished Jersey artist of Victorian times. Philip Ouless, perhaps having seen an 1840 demonstration of the daguerreotype photographic process in Jersey, offered a new portrait service on his return to Jersey from a visit to France in 1845.

None of his work, save for a single daguerreotype portrait, though to be of himself, survives, but in 1872 his son Clarence was advertising a photographic business in the Jersey Express Almanac as "Ouless & Son's Photographic Establishment". Whether father and son were both active in the business, or this was simply an attempt to capitalise on the father's fame as an artist, is not known, but by the following year the business was advertised under Clarence's name only.

He became one of the most popular commercial photographers in the island in the late 1800s, working from premises in New Street, which was by far the most popular location in St Helier for Victorian photographers. In 1883 he bought the negative collection of the late Henry Mullins, and many of these passed, along with his own photographs, to La Société Jersiaise's Photographic Archive in 2006. Some 160 of his own photographs can be seen on line in the archive.

Clarence married Léonore Stark, with whom he had two children - Clarence and Pauline - and he was the grandfather of Rev John Ouless, who donated much of his ancestors’ works to the Société. Clarence died in 1927.

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