photography (48)

Well after a long gestation period the new exhibition I've been curating at the State Library of New South Wales has opened. Arranged chronologically Shot covers the years 1845 to 2022 and is a major retrospective of photography in Australia. With over 400 photographs by 200 photographers there should be content that is of interest for this group particularly in the early years with some rare photocrayotypes, Australia's oldest extant photo (a daguerreotype by Goodman), and rare Paget plates from Shackleton's expedition by Frank Hurley. Given the desktop version went online this week I felt it was a good time to share with you all. It includes examples of photographic formats from the inception of photography to the present and will be up until November 2024. 


Below is an excerpt from the introduction panel ...
This is the first exhibition to comprehensively review the breadth of the photographic archive held at the State Library of NSW — one of the largest, most diverse and significant in Australia. The two million photographs held by the Library represent tens of thousands of stories collectively forming a unique pictorial history of the past 175 years in Australia. The exhibition explores some of these threads — from the earliest surviving photograph in Australia to examples of nearly every format used since the inception of photography in 1839.

The exhibition includes works by some of Australia’s most acclaimed photographers and shines a light on works and formats often considered to be on the periphery of photographic practice. Arranged chronologically, we have aimed to include at least one photograph to represent each year between 1845 and 2022. The images include the work of over 200 press, amateur and street photographers; printers and commercial studios. This exhibition captures only a thin slice of the collection, but these 400 works convey some of the rich rewards to be gained by examining the archive as a whole. We hope this approach allows space to contemplate the myriad stories they represent.

Geoff Barker, 2024


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A fascinating look at the history of London's iconic Vogue House, from the swinging sixties to the present day, Inside Vogue House is a behind-the-scenes guide by ex-Tatler art director Grant Scott to the world-famous magazines produced there and the stories of the people who made them great. The book also documents the famous Vogue Photographic Studios and the photographers and models who worked there.

 For sixty years, Vogue House has been a building where the great and the good started (or ended) their careers. A place where contemporary artists rubbed shoulders with royalty, and culture was shaped. From the mailroom to the boardroom, work experience to well-known names and everyone in between, this captivating book lays bare the creativity and chaos of popular magazine publishing through the decades.

After fifteen years as an art director for books and magazines such as Elle and Tatler, Dr Grant Scott began to work solely as a photographer for a number of commercial and editorial clients in 2000. Today he is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes, and a working photographer, documentary filmmaker, BBC radio contributor and the author of several books.

His film Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay was first screened in 2018 and he is the presenter of the A Photographic Life and In Search of Bill Jay podcasts.

Published by Orphans Publishing in April 2024 it is now on pre-sale.

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This publication wonderfully explores seminal collections of early colonial photography, nmost ever before in the public view, and brings them and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) into the global discourse of photography. Images are from the: Royal Collection Trust; Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; Cambridge University; Royal Asiatic Society; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Rothschild Archives; artist, Julia Margaret Cameron and important local family collections. Well designed with lovely image reproduction and concise writing that humanizes the collecting exercise, this seminal publication is for specialists (including scholars, collectors, curators) and general audiences. Over 450 Images contextualized with accessible analysis. Limited Edition Hardcover remaining 800/1000. EBook out Nov. 15, 2023.
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The programmes are printed and we're looking forward to another exciting conference, Photography in its Environment!. Recent challenges such as the climate crisis have pushed the field to consider how photography shapes and is shaped by the environment. From the mining of natural resources to the effects of mass digital storage, the environmental impact of photography is at the forefront of discussions in photography research, education and practice.

In this annual conference of the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) at De Montfort University Leicester (UK), speakers will reconsider the history of photography using the environment, broadly understood, as a departing point. What kind of histories can be written about photography in its environment? Would it be useful to understand photography as an environment? Papers will not only examine photography from the point of view of current environmental concerns, but also, how photographic practices, images and archives have developed in relation to natural, industrial and other environments. By centering the environment as an analytical category, we hope to discuss the ways in which natural, colonial, personal, digital and other types of environments have shaped photography as well as how photographic histories can help to understand environmental histories.

Talks will consider topics that address themes and questions like:

  • How exactly has photography participated in the construction and disruption of environments? — What has been the environmental impact of the production, consumption, circulation and storage of photography, in the past as well as the present?
  • Histories of environmentally friendly photography before the 21st century.
  • How have distinct environmental conditions around the globe influenced photographic practices, the development of photographic processes, and the course of the history of photography more specifically?
  • What contributions can the field of photographic history make to deepen understanding about the climate crisis
  • How can photographic historians draw on their knowledge and expertise to assist in nurturing care for the environment and its sustainability for future generations?

Keynote speakers:  Estelle Blaschke (University of Basel) Conohar Scott (University of Lincoln)

Photography in its Environment
Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK / Hybrid (in person and online), 
12-13 June 2023. Registration deadline: Jun 8, 2023
You can still register to join online or in person.

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12201221452?profile=original"It is the first study devoted to analysing how stereoscopic 3D photography became integral to daily newspapers, illustrated weeklies, and magazines." My doctoral thesis, Another Dimension: Stereoscopic Photography and the Press, c.1896-1911, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) is now available via this link.

View here

Illustration Credit: "Underwood & Underwood" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1907. b11652262.

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12201218690?profile=originalThis presentation addresses Cally Blackman's book (due early 2024) which will examine fashion between 1907-1930 through the medium of the autochrome as a robust register of colour. A technological advance, the autochrome links photography with fashion, often upheld as a metaphor for modernity, and both were integral in mediating the influence of colour on commerce and consumer culture at this period.

Cally Blackman is a fashion historian with over twenty years experience of teaching and writing, having published several books on the subject: 100 Years of Fashion Illustration 2007, 100 Years of Menswear 2009, 100 Years of Fashion 2012, A Portrait of Fashion 2015 and Fashion Central 2019. She has been researching the representation of fashion and clothing through autochromes for much of this time, its importance to the field being that this process affords a unique and robust register of colour during the period it was in use that is more reliable than other types of visual media, including printed material and even painting, and therefore is extremely useful as evidence of the colour of clothes in high fashion and the everyday dress of ordinary people. She has given several presentations on this topic at international conferences, including: in 2014 Mode et Guerre Europe 1914-18: fashion, dress and society during World War 1 at L'Institute Francais de la Mode, Paris; in 2015 Fashion at 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, Institute of Historical Research, University of London; in 2018 Der Wereld in Kleur: kleurenfotographie voor 1918, Allard Pierson Museum Amsterdam; in 2021 Colour Fever, V&A, London.

Her forthcoming book is the first to use the autochrome as a medium for viewing the history of fashion and will include approx. 350 examples of autochromes and complimentary images, and 40,000 words of text and captions. The autochromes, some of which have not been published before, have been sourced from museum, archive and private collections all over the world. In addition, Cally is acting as co-curator and consultant on a forthcoming exhibition, Les Couleurs de la Mode, at the Palais Galliera, Paris, of autochromes from the Salon du Gout Francais archive from June 2023-March 2024.

Illuminating Fashion: the colour of clothes in Autochromes 1907-1930
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm CET (1500-1630 UTC)
Presenter: Cally Blackman (Senior Lecturer, Central Saint Martins, UAL, London)

To attend the talk & have access to the reading material (see below), please the join by clicking here:
Part of the talks at the CHSTM working group: "Color Photography in the 19th Century and Early 20th Century: Sciences, Technologies, Empires"

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12201208868?profile=originalDr Hanin Hannouch & Janine Freeston, have created a working group on color photography circa 1900, hosted by the Consortium of Science, Technology & Medicine. "The purpose of this working group is to propel a rising field of research; color photography in the 19th and early 20th century in order to reconfigure, expand, and problematize its role in the history of the discipline and in the historical contexts out of which it emerged." 

So far, 100 people have joined the group and so can you by clicking on this link!

Membership is free, easy, and it will give you access to a vivacious Resource section with free articles, videos, & our ever-growing multi-lingual bibliography on turn-of-the-century color photography.

The December 20, 4 PM UK time session will feature a presentation by Janine Freeston about "Women Making Color Photographs"

Abstract: Who are the women who produced color photographs? How did they contribute to the nascent trichromatic color photography processes at the turn of the last century? Are there more of them languishing in archives who have yet to be fully appreciated and how scholars uncover it? As the history of photography continues to evolve in its appreciation of women photographers, the substantial significance that women contributors made to color photography requires consolidation, such as Angelina Acland, Agnes Warburg, Violet Blaiklock, Marjory T. Hardcastle and Olive Edis to name a few. This talk highlights women working on unresolved color processes that demanded more technical, scientific and methodological prowess than that required from their counterparts working in monochrome. For example, some processes lacked chromatic fidelity, and yet a cohort of experimenting highly skilled photographers, a significant number of whom were women, persevered to offer numerous nuanced improvements that had evolved through their practical experiences or supplied work that supported the commercial potential that color photography presented.
I hope to appeal to members of this working group to interrogate their own resources and work together in amassing geographical, technical and biographical findings from the locations they are familiar with to provide a cogent and geographically balanced historical perspective highlighting the means and methods of contributions made by women beyond the exhibition of images. 

Also, on the menu, right after Janine is my short talk "Who is Gabriel Lippmann?"

Known for being a scientist and professor at La Sorbonne, color photographer, winner of the 1908 Nobel prize for physics, Lippmann's position in the history of (color) photography and that of his process "interferential color photography" can be described as awkward, at best. Why is that and who is he? Tune in to find out!

We will also be looking back at the wonderful speakers our working group has featured so far & revealing next year's schedule! 


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12201190660?profile=originalBorn in England in 1958 I emigrated to Australia in 1986. I started taking photographs at the age of 17 before formal studies began in Australia at the age of 30. My photography is as much European as it is Australian and my archive contains many photographs of England, France and Europe.

In 2021, I celebrate 30 years of art practice with the creation of a new website (, the first to contain all my bodies of work since 1991 (note: more bodies of work still have to be added between 1996-1999).

My first solo exhibition was in a hair dressing salon in High Street, Prahran, Melbourne in 1991, during my second year of a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art Photography) at RMIT University (formerly Phillip Institute out in Bundoora). Titled 'Of Magic, Music and Myth' it featured black and white medium format photographs of the derelict Regent Theatre and the old Victorian Railway's Newport Workshops.

The concerns that I had at the time in my art making have remained with me to this day: that is, an investigation into the boundaries between identity, space and environment. Music and "spirit" have always been an abiding influence – the intrinsic music of the world and the spirit of objects, nature, people and the cosmos ... in a continuing exploration of spaces and places, using found images and digital and film cameras to record glances, meditations and movement through different environments.

30 years after I started I hope I have learnt a lot about image making ... and a lot about myself. I also hope the early bodies of my work are still as valid now as they were when I made them. In the 30 years since I became an artist my concerns have remained constant but as well, my sense of exploration and joy at being creative remains undimmed and an abiding passion.

Now, with ego integrated and the marching of the years I just make art for myself, yes, but the best reason to make art is ... for love and for the cosmos. For I believe any energy that we give out to the great beyond is recognised by spirit. Success is fleeting but making art gives energy to creation. We all return to the great beyond, eventually.

Each photograph in this posting links to a different body of work on my new website. Please click on the photographs to see the work.

Dr Marcus Bunyan






Marcus Bunyan (Australian born England, b. 1958)
An English fair
Gelatin silver print




Marcus Bunyan (Australian born England, b. 1958)
An English fair
Gelatin silver print




Marcus Bunyan (Australian born England, b. 1958)
Manchester Mardi Gras
Silver gelatin print

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David Wise

12201183077?profile=originalYou may be interested in an article I have just published in Litro on the Hartlepool photographer David Wise - he is a figure who deserves greater recognition.

I first came across the photographs of David Wise in the Independent Magazine (24 March 1990) where they illustrated an article about drinking in Hartlepool pubs. The black and white pictures were raw and honest – brutally so – but they also depicted moments of great tenderness: a man looking at his crying girlfriend unable to comfort her, a drunken kiss, a last desperate hug before kicking out time...

Read the full article here:


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12201169890?profile=originalMy lockdown project…or one of them. My first job was with a firm of Commercial and Industrial photographers in Bournemouth, Arthur Coleman Ltd. Working with Arthur’s son-in law I have just completed a book about the firm and their origins in early ‘Walkie’ photography, beach snaps in summer and photos with Santa at Christmas. 

The book is in two parts, one a product of research into the family and early years of the business and the second, a reminiscence of my time working there in the late 60s. 

It presents the fascinating story of the Coleman family of Boscombe and their involvement with professional photography in the early and mid-20th century. The Coleman family began their photographic enterprise in the days of ‘Walkies’ and souvenir photography and developed a thriving industrial and commercial business based in the Royal Arcade at Boscombe and in Curzon Road, Springbourne.

The book is fully illustrated and will be of interest to anyone with a love of early professional photography, tales of summer seaside snaps, photos with Santa at Christmas and life in Bournemouth during this period.

I hope it will also be of interest to anyone researching early provincial professional photography. 

Copies can be printed to order or a pdf file can be seen and downloaded using the link below.

Arthur Coleman Ltd, A story of family and photography in Bournemouth
ISBN: 9781034721055 (softcover)
58 pages
£13.39 printed / £3.49 download.


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12201155276?profile=originalThis lucid and comprehensive collection of essays by an international group of scholars constitutes a photo-historical survey of select photographers who embraced National Socialism during the Third Reich. These photographers developed and implemented physiognomic and ethnographic photography, and, through a Selbstgleichschaltung (a self-co-ordination with the regime), continued to practice as photographers throughout the twelve years of the Third Reich.
The volume explores, through photographic reproductions and accompanying analysis, diverse aspects of photography during the Third Reich, ranging from the influence of Modernism, the qualitative effect of propaganda photography, and the utilisation of technology such as colour film, to the photograph as ideological metaphor. With an emphasis on the idealised representation of the German body and the role of physiognomy within this representation, the book examines how select photographers created and developed a visual myth of the ‘master race’ and its antitheses under the auspices of the Nationalist Socialist state.
Photography in the Third Reich approaches its historical source photographs as material culture, examining their production, construction and proliferation. This detailed and informative text will be a valuable resource not only to historians studying the Third Reich, but to scholars and students of film, history of art, politics, media studies, cultural studies and holocaust studies.
For more information and ordering please see:
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12201148879?profile=originalPhotoworks Festival 2020 – Propositions for Alternative Narratives – can be experienced as a photography festival in a box. It is a unique and limited edition object; a portable festival where you become the curator and decide where and how to install it.

You can only get your Festival in a box by becoming a Photoworks Friend. Sign up here.

The box includes artworks by Farah Al Qasimi, Lotte Andersen, Poulomi Basu, Roger Eberhard, Ivars Gravlejs, Pixy Liao, Alix Marie, Ronan Mckenzie, Sethembile Msezane, Alberta Whittle and Guanyu Xu, and a manifesto by Queer History Now.

Each of the artworks can be installed on your own walls: at home, in your office, in a gallery, in your classroom or with your community. There are an infinite amount of ways in which you can install the festival. Use nails, tape or clips to hang in your preferred space. There is a wall label for each, giving you more information about the artist and their work.

Photoworks Friends also have free access to talks and workshops taking place as part of Photoworks Festival. Sign up now and come to all the festival events for no further cost! 

In return, as a Photoworks Friend, you will also receive: 

  • the current issue of Photoworks Annual sent directly to your door (please note, Annual 26 is now sold out but we will send an annual of your choice from our back catalogue)
  • 20% off the full range of books, prints and editions in the Photoworks shop
  • a first look at a wide range of Photoworks digital content before anyone else 
  • the opportunity to buy a yearly Photoworks fundraising edition before anyone else 
  • behind-the-scenes news and insights 
  • Invitations to special events hosted by Photoworks and our partners

Become a Photoworks Friend here.


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12201095465?profile=originalWhat is interesting to me is not just Atkins choice of the new medium of photography to describe, both scientifically and aesthetically, the beauty and detail of her collection of seaweeds; but within that new medium of photography, she chose not the photogenic or calotype process, but the graphic cyanotype process with its vivid use of the colour blue, a 'means of reproducing notes and diagrams, as in blueprints'.

Here we have a process that reproduces reality as in a diagram, a diagrammatic process that is then doubly reinforced when Atkins places her specimens directly on the cyanotype paper producing a photogram, a photographic image made without a camera. The resultant negative shadow image shows variations in tone that are dependent upon the transparency of the objects used. (Wikipedia)

Atkins photographs, produced "with great daring, creativity, and technical skill" are "a groundbreaking achievement in the history of photography and book publishing." While Atkins' books can be seen as the first systematic application of photography to science, each photograph used for scientific study or display of its species or type, there is a much more holistic creative project going on here.

Can you imagine the amount of work required to learn the calotype process, gather your thoughts, photograph the specimens, make the prints, write the text to accompany the images, and prepare the number of volumes to self-publish the book, all within a year? For any artist, this amount of concentrated, focused work requires an inordinate amount of time and energy and, above all, a clear visualisation of the outcome that you want to achieve.

That this was achieved by a woman in 1843, "in contrast to the constraints experienced by women in Victorian England," makes Atkins achievement of scientific accuracy, ethereal beauty and sublime transcendence in her photographs truly breathtaking.

Dr Marcus Bunyan



Anna Atkins (1799-1871)
Ulva latissima, from Volume III of Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations


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November 2017: This was the best photography exhibition which wasn't an exhibition - because it was a "display" - that I saw on my recent trip to Europe. Why was it the best? Because this is what strong, insightful photography can do: it can capture life; it can document different cultures; and it can be a powerful agent for social change.

I remember London in the 1970s. I lived in Clapham (Claiff-ham Heights) and Stockwell (we called it St. Ockwell) near Brixton at the time. I remember the Brixton riot of 1981, as I was living in my little room down the road, as the cars burnt and the buildings were smashed. "Brixton in South London was an area with serious social and economic problems. The whole United Kingdom was affected by a recession by 1981, but the local African-Caribbean community was suffering particularly high unemployment, poor housing, and a higher than average crime rate." (Wikipedia) People felt oppressed by recession, racism, the police, and by the establishment, for this was the era of Margaret Thatcher and her bullies. But as these photographs show, there was such a vibrant sense of community in these areas as they sought to 'stand firm in England' because it was their home.

It is our great privilege that we have the images of this very talented group of photographers who documented Black communities in London during this time: Raphael Albert, Bandele 'Tex' Ajetunmobi, James Barnor, Colin Jones, Neil Kenlock, Dennis Morris, Syd Shelton and Al Vandenberg. And I find it heartening that all of these photographers were documenting their community at the same time. The African-Caribbean diaspora is part of the genetic makeup of the UK and multiculturalism, from where ever it emanates, should be valued in societies around the world. It enriches contemporary culture through an understanding and acceptance of difference.

Against racism; against fascism; against discrimination. For freedom from oppression and the right to be heard.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart


#StanFirminnaInglan #London #AfricanCaribbean #Brixton #documentaryphotography #photography #art #blackandwhitephotography #racism #oppression #Blackcommunity #Britain #multiculturalism


Syd Shelton (born 1947)
Southhall Carnival against the Nazis
1979, printed 2012
Gelatin silver print on paper
Gift Eric and Louise Franck London Collection 2016


Bandele Ajetunmobi (1921-1994)
East End, London
c. 1975, printed 2012
C-print on paper
Gift of Eric and Louise Franck London Collection 2016


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12201073463?profile=originalL. Parker Stephenson Photographs celebrates its representation of John Davies (b. 1949) with the first solo exhibition of his work in the United States. Nominated for the Deutsche Börse prize in 2008, Davies is best known for his 1980s photographs documenting the broad, complex and changing topography of industrial and post-industrial Britain. Over a dozen large vintage and modern gelatin silver prints have been selected for presentation from his series The British Landscape (published in book format by Chris Boot, 2006). The Gallery is pleased to host an opening reception on Friday, December 8, 5-7pm.

John Davies’ engagement with documentary photography emerged as a response to the economic and social upheavals taking place in the UK in the late 1970s and 80s. This important transitional era was examined in the Museum of Modern Art New York’s 1991 exhibition and accompanying catalog British Photography from the Thatcher Years, which presented the work of John Davies, Paul Graham, Chris Killip, Martin Parr and Graham Smith. Davies’ exhibited images from A Green and Pleasant Land examined changes to the environment wrought on it by industrialization and urbanization. This 1986 title was the first book published by Dewi Lewis while he was Director of the Cornerhouse art center.

12201073463?profile=originalWorking through long-standing British traditions of painterly and literary scenes, Davies utilizes the sharp descriptive power of large format photography for his fine gelatin silver prints to include a range of details that exceeds a complacent reading of the terrain, emphasizing instead its flux. He honors and preserves the layers of cultural history while the past is regularly erased and replaced. Tensions between Arcadian nature and engineered economy are also illustrated, informing an understanding of the earth as both symbolic identity and as a resource. Viewed from an elevated perspective, the pastoral lanes, gothic cathedrals, railroad bridges, coal factories, nuclear power plants and apartment towers captured in Davies’ images relate to classical landscape painting as well as the precision of map-making. His style has been credited as influential to contemporary artists, among them, Andreas Gursky.

Davies’ continued focus on the evolution of rural and urban environments throughout Western Europe over the course of almost 40 years has resulted in over twenty monographs and dozens of solo and group exhibitions. His most recent book, Shadow: Slag Heaps of Northern Europe, (Edition Loco) was published in 2016. The V&A Museum, London and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris are both presenting his work from their collections in current group exhibitions. The Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne also has his prints on view through 2018.

In addition to institutions throughout the UK such as the Barbican Art Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, the British Council, Arts Council of England, the National Museum and Galleries and the National Library of Wales, Davies’ work is in the collections of or exhibited by international museums including MoMA, NY and SFMoMA; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Centre Georges Pompidou Paris; and MAXXI in Rome among many others in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Limited editions of The British Landscape book accompanied by a print are available through the Gallery.

For additional information or to request images, please contact the Gallery at +1 212 517-8700 or by email at

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12201068494?profile=originalL. Parker Stephenson Photographs will present a selection of British Photography at Classic Photographs Los Angeles, featuring gallery artists John Davies and Sirkka-Liisa Konttinen, and work by Paul Hill, Chris Killip, and Marketa Luskacova.

In addition the Gallery will show work by Kikuji Kawada, Malick Sidibe, Jacques Sonck, and Witho Worms.

For additional information or to request images, please contact the Gallery at +1 212 517-8700 or by email at 

12201069296?profile=originalSirkka-Liisa Konttinen, Kids with Collected Junk, Near Byker Bridge, Byker, 1971

12201069487?profile=originalJohn Davies, Stalybridge, Cheshire, 1983

12201069697?profile=originalMarketa Luskova, On the Promenade, 1978

Classic Photographs Los Angeles will be held at


Admission is Free.

Hours are:

Friday February 2 (Opening Preview) 6-8pm

 Saturday February 3 11am-7pm

Sunday February 4, 11am-5pm.

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