British photographic history

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Exhibition: Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works

In 2009 the Library of Birmingham acquired a dozen photographs by Daniel Meadows, one of the most influential figures to emerge from the new wave of British independent photography in the 1970s. In May the Library will be presenting a major exhibition of his early work and begin the process of acquiring his entire photography archive.

Curated by Val Williams, Daniel Meadows: Early Photographic Works will include renowned bodies of work such as June Street, Butlins at Filey and the landmark Free Photographic Omnibus project which saw Meadows undertake a journey across England in a double decker bus he had converted into a darkroom and living space. During his 10,000 mile odyssey Meadows photographed almost one thousand people from 22 towns across Britain. He subsequently revisited and re-photographed many of these same people almost 30 years later. Together Meadows’ numerous projects provide an extraordinary window that enables us to look back and see a unique record of England, at work and in its leisure hours, during a critical period in British photographic and social history. 

The exhibition will include new items such as a number plate from Meadows’ Photographic Omnibus and a selection of works drawn from the photography collection at the Library of Birmingham featuring works by Sir Benjamin Stone, Tony Ray-Jones, Meadows, Homer Sykes, Anna Fox and Faye Claridge that reveals the way in which two generations of photographers have been inspired and influenced by the noted Birmingham-born Victorian Record Photographer Sir Benjamin Stone.

Around this exhibition which opens at the Library of Birmingham on 16 May are a series of talks including: 

  • Pete James Talk: Daniel Meadows: Archives and Influences

    22nd May 2014 6pm – 7pm; 
    Meeting Room Suite, level 1

    Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections will discuss the influence three individuals: Sir Benjamin Stone, Tony Ray Jones and Charles Parker, whose work is held in the Library of Birmingham archives, had on Daniel Meadows's Photographic Omnibus Project.

    To book your tickets now click here

  • Meet Daniel Meadows 

    7th June : 2pm - 3pm; 
    Meeting Room Suite, level 1

    Daniel Meadows will discuss the Gallery exhibition ‘Daniel Meadows Early Photographic Works’. He will screen multimedia pieces and show work from his archive of forty years which, this year, is to be acquired by the Library of Birmingham.

    To book your tickets now click here.
  • Community Photography in 1970's and 1980's by Professor Ian Grosvenor


    10th June 2014 : 6pm – 7pm;
    Meeting Room Suite, level 1

    Ian Grosvenor (University of Birmingham) will discuss Daniel Meadows’ work in the context of the emergence of community photography in post war Britain and the radical political activism in 1970s and 1980s which together had a huge impact on documentary photography in Britain.

    To book your tickets now click here.

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