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Street photography thrives in London today. It documents the movement, diversity and seeming incoherence of the most multicultural city in the world. Its defining characteristic is the keen eye of the photographer catching the moment of a chance encounter, a fleeting expression or a momentary juxtaposition in a decisive click.
However, photographing life on London’s streets is nothing new. The first ‘instantaneous’ London street scenes were taken in the early 1860s, and by the 1890s candid street photographers were snapping Londoners unawares. The 20th century saw many photographers, famous and lesser-known, continue to capture the daily life of London.
London Street Photography showcases the Museum of London’s unique historic collection of photographs. It contains the work of more than seventy photographers and is a fascinating view of London street life of the last 150 years. It includes the work of well-known photographers such as Paul Martin, John Thomson, Humphrey Spender, Bert Hardy, László Moholy-Nagy, Roger Mayne and Tony Ray-Jones as well as the work of many anonymous photographers whose contribution has been just as important in recording the story of the city.
The book includes an introduction by Mike Seaborne, in which he outlines the history of street photography in the Capital, exploring the shifts in approach as well as the impact of new cameras that allowed photographers to capture the wealth of detail to be found in London’s teeeming streets.
Hardback, 120 pages
110 b/w & colour photos
220mm x 247mm
Published in association with The Museum of London