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Conference: Concerning Photography: Photographic Networks in Britain / 25 November-2 December 2021

On 14 January 1971, The Photographers’ Gallery opened its doors with The Concerned Photographer, an exhibition that had previously been shown in the United States, Switzerland and Japan, and which presented photography as the optimum medium to document social conditions. This online conference has been organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of The Photographers’ Gallery in 1971 and will explore the legacy of its innovative programming within broader infrastructures of exhibition, display and photographic practice, from the 1970s to the present day.

It will take place over three sessions on 25 November, and the 2nd and 3rd of December 2021. Each is £5 or £3 concessions. 

Full details of the programme are here: https://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/whats-on/concerning-photogra...

The conference will be held entirely online and is a collaboration between the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and The Photographers’ Gallery. 

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Comment by Michael Pritchard on Friday

Thanks! That looks like the outside of 14 South Audley Street which teh RPS occupied from c1970-1980. I had the opportunity to visit again recently and it has changed a lot. 

Comment by Edward McCann on Friday

  I believe I was only in Bath once, Michael, in 1976. 

  Here's an RPS one -- London or Bath? --  I've come across. While I was there, researching the Scottish Canadian photographer Alexander Henderson, [ offside: next year at the McCord Museum in Montreal, some of my GW Wilson's will be shown in a Henderson exhibition as a Scottish landscape influence.] I photographed around Bath.

Comment by Michael Pritchard on Friday

These are great, Edward. The second shows, I think The Photographers' Gallery space in the RPS Centre at The Octagon, Bath. The metal balustrade is the giveaway. Do you have any more pictures from the Octagon/RPS? 

Comment by Edward McCann on Friday

  

    Another one I took of the facade about, I don't remember when. Old age is setting in without mercy.

Comment by Edward McCann on November 22, 2021 at 21:59

    Here's another PG connection, but from NYC in 1982 -- the gallery must be giving away free crumpets to attract that crowd. 

     I used this photograph in my self-published memoir on Blurb.com -- New York Lust. It was at hand because yours truly is seeking a real publisher; and oh, I want gold-plated fixtures in my WC.

Comment by Michael Pritchard on November 22, 2021 at 20:07

Such wonderful recollections. The social side of the Gallery was of equal importance to its programmes.  

Comment by William Messer on November 22, 2021 at 15:22

Remember attending an opening at the PG and seeing a woman I knew (and knew I liked). I kept smiling at her even waving. She looked friendly but a bit uncomfortable. Couldn't figure out why she didn't reciprocate until I realized it was Angela Rippon, the national news reader for the BBC. Think I disappeared into the crowd then.

Another time I bought a back copy of Aperture at the gallery's bookstore and a man came over next to me to say it was an excellent issue. I told him I know; there's a wonderful porfolio by Emmet Gowin. He told me instead to see the Fredrick Sommer piece. I kept promoting the Gowin photos and he the Sommer. Finally I opened the issue randomly to a photo of Ruth having just combed her hair and said "Look at this picture by Emmet Gowin. I don't even know the guy but I love him. Haven't you ever heard of Emmet Gowin?" And he said softly "That's my name." I almost blurted "You mean you have the same name as Emmet Gowin" when I saw Edith and Elijah at the gallery door waiting for Emmet to join them to go camping in Scotland. Best most embarrassing moment ever.

Comment by Edward McCann on November 22, 2021 at 14:58

    I first visited the gallery, IMG00404%20%282%29.JPGon a trip from Canada, in the summer of 1976, I bought a publication with a brilliant article on 19th C. photographic albums -- I wish I could locate it now.

     A pal recently loaned me a negative scanner. Attached from Salford in 1980, a negative I never printed before -- and in the background -- Sue Davies...

Comment by Michael Pritchard on October 18, 2021 at 13:19

Hi, William Do feel free to use BPH to promote Oracle. I am sure there would be much interest and an appetite for participation. 

Comment by William Messer on October 18, 2021 at 11:22

1971 was the year I first arrived in Britain (was that really 50 years ago?) Worked with BJ at the ICA, and PT at CC, and the BJP (the Beej), and LCP (now LCC). A pretty amazing time to be involved in photography in London and the UK. "The Concerned Photographer" was probably from ICP in NYC (having fun with these acronyms), since that was Capa's (CC) term for the kind pf photography he promoted. I sometimes think I'll return to participate in one of these "historical" conferences. Meanwhile, I'm hosting the 40th Oracle meetings of photography curators in the US in the fall of 2022 and would like to get a number of UK curators involved. OK?

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