A new home for British photography will open in London in late January 2023. The Centre for British Photography will build on the world-renowned Hyman Collection of British photography and the work of the Hyman Foundation. Three floors of exhibitions will present the diverse landscape of British photography today, as well as an historical overview. The 8000 sq. ft. Centre will be free to visit year-round and will offer exhibitions, events and talks, a shop and an archive and library.
The Centre will feature photographs from 1900 to the present, work by photographers living and working in the UK today, and images taken by those who emigrated to the UK. It will present self-generated exhibitions and those led by independent curators and organisations, as well as monographic displays. The Centre plans to stage numerous exhibitions throughout the year and also bring together the photographic community – professional and amateur - through its talks and events programme.
The Hyman Collection includes over 3,000 significant works by more than 100 artists including Bill Brandt, Bert Hardy, Daniel Meadows, Jo Spence, Karen Knorr, Anna Fox and Heather Agyepong. It is currently available as a global online resource, and it also has a history of lending to exhibitions outside London. Now, with this new home, regional museums, galleries and photography collectives will also be invited to use the central London space to present exhibitions and collaborate on talks and events.
James Hyman, Founding Director, said: “The Centre for British Photography is for anyone with an interest in photography. Photography in Britain is some of the best in the world and we want to give it more exposure and support. With this new physical space, alive with exhibitions and events, we hope to create a hub that increases British photography’s national and international status. We hope that through this initial work to make a home for British photography we can, in the long run, develop an independent centre that is self-sustaining with a dedicated National Collection and public programme.”
Tracy Marshall-Grant, the Centre for British Photography’s newly-appointed Deputy Director, said: “The Hyman Collection is the pre-eminent British photography collection and that will be at the heart of our programming. Inclusivity and diversity have always been key to the Foundation and to the development of the Hyman Collection - for example, the collection is balanced in the numbers of works it holds by men and women. We will reflect this in the programming of the exhibition spaces and those we invite to show, talk and take part in events at the Centre. We also want to support British photographers through commissions, grants, exhibitions, acquisitions and sales.”
The opening events will include two major, new exhibitions: a self-portrait show co-curated by the campaign group Fast Forward: Women in Photography; and The English at Home - over 150 photographs which provide an overview of British photography focused on the domestic interior drawn from some of the major bodies of work in the Hyman Collection. Taking its title from Bill Brandt’s first book, The English at Home will range from Bill Brandt, Kurt Hutton and Bert Hardy to Martin Parr, Daniel Meadows, Karen Knorr, Anna Fox and Richard Billingham.
There will also be four In Focus displays that will spotlight specific bodies of work. These will include Jo Spence: Cinderella in collaboration with the Jo Spence Memorial Library at Birkbeck, University of London; and the series Fairytale for Sale by Natasha Caruana that was recently acquired by the Hyman Collection.
Also on display will be two bodies of work that were commissioned by the Hyman Collection: Spitting by Andrew Bruce and Anna Fox is a response to the original Spitting Image puppets in the Hyman Collection, and Wish You Were Here, a recent series commissioned from Heather Agyepong.
The gallery shop will also present a selling show Paul Hill. Prenonations. Large format platinum prints.
A print sale will go live on 17 November with funds raised going towards the Centre and the Hyman Foundation’s support of photographers in Britain, through commissions, grants, acquisitions and sales. Featuring the work of Martin Parr, Anna Fox, Julia Fullerton-Batten and David Hurn among others and priced at £70, the prints will be available to purchase from 17 November – 19 December 2022 on the Centre for British Photography website: www.britishphotography.org.
The Centre for British Photography
49 Jermyn Street
Opens late January 2023