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Humphrey Spender - Firstsite

Humphrey Spender - Firstsite

Humphrey Spender, 'Stepney', 1934

Humphrey Spender was a social documentary photographer working in 1930’s Britain, capturing street-life surveys of ordinary people. He was one of the first photographers in the UK to use a 35mm camera for documentary journalism, allowing him to ‘spend time amongst his subjects without being noticed’. This exhibition includes stunning black and white images of street, pub and family life in the working class communities of Stepney, Whitechapel and Lambeth in London, providing contemporary viewers with a unique insight into our cultural past. Spender worked as a photojournalist for the Daily Mirror and Picture Post before serving as a war photographer during the Second World War. In the wake of the conflict, the artist devoted his time to painting, wallpaper and textile design and taught at the Royal College of Art 1956 – 1976.

Our design team were delighted to frame this stunning collection of work, celebrating the life and practice of this important photographic artist. The exhibition is on display at Firstsite in Colchester 16th March – 12th May, 2013 and is well worth seeing both for the historical interest of the works and their aesthetic beauty.

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