British photographic history

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Museum of London's New Galleries Open ...

On 28 May 2010 the Museum of London unveils its spectacular £20 million Galleries of Modern London.


Three years in the making, five new galleries tell the story of London and its people from 1666 to the present day. 7,000 objects, show-stopping interactives, specially designed family areas, film and changing displays, transport you through the capital’s tumultuous history, rich with drama, triumph and near disaster.

Themed exhibition areas address the development of the capital from Restoration London up to the modern day (already an improvement; the former galleries stopped before the Second World War).
Highlights include a walk-in Charles Booth poverty map, a graffiti-etched prison cell, golden lifts from Selfridges, a mock-up of a Georgian pleasure garden and fondly remembered objects from the 20th Century that you just don't see any more (Mary Quant dresses, calculators, decent copies of Time Out...).

The museum has teamed up with creative agency Brothers and Sisters to create an iPhone application, streetmuseum, which allows users to overlay historic images of London over the present-day view on their handset. streetmuseum is free to download via the iPhone app store.

But of interest to BPH bloggers is their Historic Photographs Collection which contains well over
250,000 images from the 1840s to the present day. It includes work by photographers such as Roger Fenton, Humphrey Spender, George Rodger and Nigel Henderson as well as Brandt and Callaghan. These images will form the basis of a street photography exhibition (including pioneering documentary images by Victorian photographer John Thomson) on show from February next year, which will trace the development of the genre and its current status.

The Museum of London is situated at London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, and entrance is free !
For more information, check here.

Photo: "The Crawlers' - pioneering documentary photography on the mean streets of Victorian London by John Thomsom, 1877. Image © Museum of London

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