British photographic history

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London Street Markets in the 1940s by Walter Joseph

Having been recently acquired by the British Library, these images by Walter Jospeh will become a valued public record of the post war period and the hardships and pleasures Londoners faced.

Joseph (1922-2003) was born in Darmstadt to an Orthodox Jewish couple. He fled Germany as a young man in 1939 (his twin brothers following shortly after) and came to England. As a German national he was interned in the Isle of Man during the Second World War. After the war he was employed in newspaper photographic laboratories, but remained a dedicated amateur and semi-professional photographer for the rest of his life. These fascinating views of London markets, street traders and entertainers were taken between 1947-48.

Joseph doubted his photographic skills but his family always loved his images. There is a striking similarity between the story of Walter Joseph and that of Vivian Maier, who’s work is on display just around the corner at the German Gymnasium.

Details of this exhibition can be found here.


Image © Sonia Lichtenstein, courtesy of British Library

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Comment by Michael Wong on June 13, 2011 at 23:23

Yes - another one for the diary, Nick!

There is more to see in the forthcoming London Street Photography Festival next month; the full programme, of which I'm sure you'd already come across, can be found here.

Comment by Nicholas Brewer on June 13, 2011 at 10:02
Looks great. I will try and get along and see this.

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