Visit at Victoria and Albert Museum London (August 2016)

Any reproduction of photos is purely for no profit and educational reasons

I still need to update my blog for the galleries visit in my trip to London last August.

In this post I am discussing the visit to Victoria and Albert Museum.

I visited it twice. In the first I visited the main photography collection and also the temporary one called “The camera exposed” which will be open until the 5 March 2017.

In this exhibition the camera itself is the main subject. As it is mentioned in the website “Every photograph in this display features at least one camera. From formal portraits to casual snapshots, still-lifes to collages, they appear as reflections or shadows, and sometimes as objects in their own right… In the age of the mobile phone, the camera as a stand-alone device is disappearing from sight. This display focuses on the instrument itself with 120 photographs spanning the 19th century to the present day.”

In the main collection it was nice to see photos by some of the masters of photography. It was interesting to see some of the photos I have read about them. It is always a different feeling when you see them printed and not online or in a book.

  1. “Civilian defense” by Weston, Edward (1942) – I like the feeling and the concept of this photo. I like it when old photos give me a contemporary feeling
  2. “Coney Island” by Weegee (1940) – It is just so overcrowded this photo, makes me feel stressed. When I google search for Coney island it is interesting how many similar photos from different times appeared.
  3. “In the Box – Horizontal” by Ruth Bernard (1962)- I really like the female form in this image. Also, I think her body type is maybe more appreciated today than it was the time the photo was taken (I just base this in images I have seen and beauty standards of the time)
  4. “Zehra” by Josef Koudelka (1967)- I like their expression and their pose. Also the implied triangle of their heads, almost perfect, possibly random
  5. “Embrace no. 52” by Hosoe (1971)- I like the contrast between the black and white skin in a black and white photo
  6. “Head Foreshortene” by Wagstaff, Lee (1999-2000). I think that is a really powerful image. I do not understand why people become fully tattooed but I respect them. The position of the head in this photo, which I think is a self portrait is really interesting
  7. Sie kommen (Dressed) and b. (undressed) by Newton, Helmut. It is interesting to see photos that looks familiar. Photos I remembered read about them. Nice contrast in these photos between the dressed and undressed versions

The camera exposed

  1. “Weegee the Famous” by Richard Sadler (1963). I like the composition, makes me smile
  2. “The Brown sisters, 1984, Truro, Mass.” By Nicholas Nixon. Here the presence of the photographer is by his shadow
  3. “Girl with Camera Lying on Grass; Liz Gibbons as Photographer” by Dahl-wolfe, Louise (1938). I love this one, She is such a beauty
  4. “Atrocity! Death of a Photographer” by Walker, John A (1979). I think it a staged one. However, I think that something similar will happen if a photographer died in our days, the only difference will be that the cameras will be replaced by smart phones.
  5. “Fashion Photograph, 1960; Carmen; Las Meñinas” by Sokolsky, Melvin (1960). I like the composition, the concept and the texture of the background wall
  6. “Imogen Cunningham and Twinka Thiebaud” by Judy Dater (1974). I love this one. I like the whole concept, the contrast, and their expressions.
  7. “Self-portrait, Eve Arnold in a distorting mirror” by Eve Arnold (1950). Interesting self portrait in an era a long time before selfies became popular



In my second visit, I have gone to the painting sections. I concentrated mainly in the Landscapes. It was nice to see some of the painting for which again I have read and also work of few painters, the works of which has been mentioned in the essays or articles I had to read or research as a part of this course.

  1. “The Falls of the Rhine at Schaffhausen” by Philip James (1788). Nice composition, sky and well depicted the power of the water. Interesting characters telling different stories. We can get information for the clothing etc of the time.
  2. “Hampstead Heath” by Constable, John (1820-1830). Again nice composition. I like the details in the sky and the reflections in the water. Interesting details.
  3. “East Cowes Castle” by Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1827-1828). I like the colour tones in this one
  4. “A Harvest Field” by De wint (about 1825). Looking to my notes I write about the cracks on the paintings. It is easier to see the different artworks online but it is a different feeling to actually stand in front of them. Feeling and looking at the materials and the effect of time on them.
  5. “L’Immensité” by Courbet, Gustave (1869). Nice colours, kind of abstract feeling. Not many details in the painting, but just by looking at it we will notice. I think we mainly concentrate in the general feeling than the details.

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