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Bill Brandt

Room 100 – currently closed

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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.

Exploring Bill Brandt

Photo of Early Morning on the River, London Bridge (2), photograph by Bill Brandt, about 1935. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Early Morning on the River, London Bridge (2), photograph by Bill Brandt, about 1935. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of  Parlourmaid preparing a Bath Before Dinner, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1939. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Parlourmaid preparing a Bath Before Dinner, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1939. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of Coal-searcher Going Home to Jarrow, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1937. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Coal-searcher Going Home to Jarrow, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1937. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of Bayswater Houses Lit by Moonlight, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1942. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Bayswater Houses Lit by Moonlight, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1942. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of People Sheltering in the Tube, Elephant and Castle Underground Station, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1940. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
People Sheltering in the Tube, Elephant and Castle Underground Station, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1940. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of Francis Bacon, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1963. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Francis Bacon, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1963. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of Campden Hill, London, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1949. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Campden Hill, London, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1949. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of  Policeman in a Dockland Alley, Bermondsey, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1938. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Policeman in a Dockland Alley, Bermondsey, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1938. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Photo of Dylan Thomas, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1941. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.
Dylan Thomas, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1941. © Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

Learn more about Bill Brandt

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