Bill Brandt

Photography Centre, Rooms 99 – 101

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Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried!

Bill Brandt

Bill Brandt (1904 – 83) was one of the most influential British photographers of the 20th century. He photographed vivid interactions of social life and the realities of labour and class with imagination, compassion and humour. He was a witness to the Depression of the 1930s and the Blitz of 1940 and is credited with revising and renewing the major artistic genres of portraiture, landscape and the nude.

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Brandt enjoyed close relations with the V&A throughout his career, and the Museum acquired hundreds of works directly from the photographer, received some as gifts, and commissioned some literary portraits by Brandt. Brandt was also invited to curate photographic exhibitions for the Museum.

Collection Highlights

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Early Morning on the River, London Bridge, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1935, London, England
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Parlourmaid preparing a Bath, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1933, Mayfair, England
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Coal-searcher Going Home to Jarrow, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1937, Jarrow, England
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Bayswater Houses Lit by Moonlight, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1940, London, England
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People Sheltering in the Tube, Elephant and Castle Underground Station, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1940, London, England
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Francis Bacon walking on Primrose Hill, London, 1963, photograph, by Brandt, Bill, 1963, London, England
Campden Hill, London, Bill Brandt, 1949 © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
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Policeman in Bermondsey, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1930 – 38, London, England
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Dylan Thomas at The Salisbury, gelatin silver print, by Bill Brandt, 1941, UK

Features

Background image: Background image: Coal-searcher Going Home to Jarrow, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1937. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.