Another London – Tate Britain, September 2012

Another London, Tate Britain (September 2012)

London.

Did you notice how London stole the show this summer? Did you?

Well, Tate Britain added to the mix with Another London – International Photographers Capture City Life 1930-1980.

“Throughout the 20th century, some of the world’s greatest photographers came to London to make work about the city and its inhabitants. Another London explores the distinctive ways in which London was represented by those for whom it was a foreign city” (Another London exhibition booklet, Tate Britain).

I am grateful to all these people who visited London, or ended up living here, for their photos of bygone London.

There were a few touristy stereotypes. Sure. But not many.

Most works showed London as a working city, with people going about their daily lives.

All images in the exhibition were monochrome. I really liked that. This nostalgic feel of London, as it was then.

Markéta Luskaćová‘s comment about her desire to ‘record things before they disappear’ struck a chord.

It made me think, captured in photography, our London now is what would be exhibited in exhibitions such as this one 50 years from now. Which is funny… because around us is our normality.

Here are some of my favourites.

Young Housewife, Bethnal Green, London, 1937 - Bill Brandt
Young Housewife, Bethnal Green, 1937 © Bill Brandt

“View From St. Paul’s Cathedral, August 1942″ by Wolfgang Suschitzky
View from St. Paul’s Cathedral, August 1942 © Wolfgang Suschitzky

Bishopsgate Road, Paddington, London, 1934 - Wolfgang Suschitzky (guardian.co.uk)
Bishopsgate Road, Paddington, London, 1934 – © Wolfgang Suschitzky

Lyons Corner House, Tottenham Court Road, London 1934 - Wolfgang Suschitzky
Lyons Corner House, Tottenham Court Road, London 1934 © Wolfgang Suschitzky

London, England, 1954 - Marc Riboud
London, England, 1954 – Marc Riboud

And I’ll leave the last words to Dorothy Bohm as I don’t think there’s a better way to sum up what a wonderful city we live in: “I had a love of London after seeing how people behaved during the bombing in the war. It was an extraordinary city and still is”.

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