An Ideal For Living: Photographing Class, Culture and Identity in Modern Britain

27th Jul 2016 - 17th Sep 2016

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27 July – 17 September 2016

An Ideal for Living is an exhibition about how photographers have perceived class, culture and identity in modern Britain. Drawing on the work of 29 diverse photographers, it considers how photographing Britain has contributed to the creation of a collective national identity. The exhibition shows the variety and creativity with which photographers have sought to document what they consider to be a particularly British way of life from the 1920s to now.

The exhibition opens with photographs of British life in the interwar period. Photographs by Emil Otto Hoppé, Bill Brandt and Henri Cartier-Bresson show the early preoccupation with documenting the British class system. Brandt’s landmark photobook, The English at Home (1936), cast a satirical look over social divides and notions of English propriety. The publication would go on to become a benchmark for photographers seeking to comment on the idiosyncrasies of the British class system as it has developed and subdivided through the course of the last century.

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Works

Two Gentlemen On Throgmorton Street, London, 1937

Emil Otto Hoppe

School Boy With Luggage, Paddington Station, London, 1933

Emil Otto Hoppe

Parlourmaid and Under-Parlourmaid Ready to Serve Dinner, 1936

Bill Brandt

Coal Miners’ Houses Without Windows to the Street, 1930s

Bill Brandt

Hyde Park, London, 1938

Henri Cartier-Bresson

All-Night Workers of the Rescue Squads Welcome Tea in the Morning, London, 1940

George Rodger

On the Front Steps, Elephant and Castle, London, 1948

Bert Hardy

Mayor of Todmorden’s Inaugural Banquet, Calderdale, 1976

Martin Parr

Jubilee Street Party, Elland, Yorkshire, 1977

Martin Parr

Boy Destroying Piano, Wales, 1961

Philip Jones Griffiths

England, 1960

Bruce Davidson

Two Nannies Pulling Buggies, From ‘England/Scotland’, 1966

Bruce Davidson

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex, 1978

Martin Parr

Child With Pram, From ‘Welsh Miners’, 1965

Bruce Davidson

Girl With Kitten, London, 1960

Bruce Davidson

Lonely Pub, Yorkshire, 1964

John Bulmer

West Hartlepool, England, 1963

Colin Jones

Sunderland, County Durham, 1963

Colin Jones

Untitled, Undated

Colin Jones

Identical Twins, 1968

Colin Jones

New Brighton, from ‘The Last Resort’, 1983-85

Martin Parr

New Brighton, from ‘The Last Resort’, 1983-85

Martin Parr

Notting Hill Couple, 1967

Charlie Phillips

And The Crowd Went Crazy: Stones Concert, Hyde Park, 1969

Frank Habicht

Outside the ‘Piss House Pub’, Portobello Road, 1968

Charlie Phillips

Soldier Seen Through Shield, Northern Ireland, 1973

Philip Jones Griffiths

Time Gentlemen Please: London Stock Exchange, c. 1960

Frank Habicht

Untitled, 1974

Jo Spence

George and his Son, Marlin, Acklam Road, c. 1972

Charlie Phillips

Civil Liberties Activist, Darkus Howe, Addresses ‘Anti-Anti Mugging March’ Demonstrators from the Roof of a Public Toilet, Clifton Rise, Lewisham, London, 13 August 1977

Syd Shelton

Bagga (Bevin Fagan), Hackney, East London, 1978

Syd Shelton

Brothers, Red Deer, Croydon, London, 1976

Chris Steele-Perkins

Girls Dancing in Wolverhampton Club, 1978

Chris Steele-Perkins

Glasgow, 1980

Raymond Depardon

Glasgow, 1980

Raymond Depardon

First Arrests Outside Front Line Off Licence, Railton Rd, Brixton, April 1981

Neil Libbert

Brixton Riots, April 1981

Neil Libbert

Young Locals Relieving the Burned Out Local Pub ‘The Window Castle’ of its Contents on the First Night of the Riots, Brixton, April 1981

Neil Libbert

May Ball, Cambridge, 1983

Jurgen Schadeberg

May Ball, Cambridge, 1983

Jurgen Schadeberg

Picnic on the River Thames, 1980

Jurgen Schadeberg

Helen And Her Hoola-Hoop, Seacoal Camp, Lynemouth, Northumberland, 1986

Chris Killip

Tuinol Barry, Chelsea, London, 1981

Derek Ridgers

Babs, Soho, London, 1987

Derek Ridgers

Tuinol Barry, Kings Road, London, 1983

Derek Ridgers

Picnic in the Car Park on Derby Day at Epsom Downs Racecourse, June 2001

Peter Dench

Sheltering From the Rain on Derby Day at Epsom, June 2001

Peter Dench

Cadoxton, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, 2008

James Morris

Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales, 2008

James Morris

Red Hijab, Red Dress and Bling, from the series ‘Honest With You’, 2013

Mahtab Hussain

An Ideal For Living