Collections Crossover: Women Photographers
If this email doesn't display properly, please click here.
Collections Crossover: Women Photographers

The recent release of news about a forthcoming exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery has inspired the theme of this week's Collections Crossover email. When the gallery re-opens in June, one of its major exhibitions will be 'Yevonde - Life & Colour'; a celebration of the pioneering photographer Madame Yevonde, whose experiments in colour photography with the Vivex process during the 1930s was to seal her reputation. We are thrilled this show is taking place as we have a long-standing interest in Yevonde and own the copyright to all of Yevonde's black & white photography. Our collection, comprising of negatives as well as images gleaned from the ILN archive, builds up a comprehensive picture of Yevonde's prolific output and her original and often daring approach to photographic portraiture from the First World War right through to the 1960s. We've spent years finding Yevonde images within the pages of The Tatler, The Sketch and other magazines in the ILN archive, and continue to find more. Drawing on this theme, Luci has contributed an essay to the NPG's exhibition catalogue entitled 'Yevonde in Print.' We've drawn together some edited highlights of sitters ranging from 12 year-old Lady Diana Spencer to a young Dame Judi Dench while you can learn more about the exhibition here.

The magazines in which Yevonde had her pictures published also commissioned numerous other women photographers, notably Lallie Charles (with whom Yevonde served an apprenticeship), her sister, Rita Martin and Alice Hughes. There are also pictures by roving photographer Miss Compton Collier, who travelled around the country to photograph high society in their homes and gardens, and an interesting series in The Tatler, Sidelights on Personality, showing notable upper class ladies montaged with images of their favourite objects and hobbies by Ursula Powys-Lybb.

Moving on to the 1960s, we found a spread in a 1964 issue of The Tatler featuring a picture of the magazine's regular flight of photographers and among them is Sandra Lousada who, like Yevonde, showed a precocious talent and was already working for a range of established magazines while still a teenager. Fast forward sixty years and we are delighted to represent Sandra's body of work today which includes portraits of key figures in the arts; fashion shoots for magazines such as Petticoat as well as important records of changing cityscapes - her photographs of Robin Hood Gardens being a good example.

Shirley Baker was also interested in peoples' relationship with their urban environment, and her photographs documenting the communities of Manchester and Salford during the 1960s, have marked her out as one of Britain's finest street photographers. Shirley died in 2014 but her estate continues to bring her work to the public's attention. There have been several exhibitions over the past decade, as well as books, including 'Dog Show' which we worked on with publisher, Hoxton Mini Press.

Margaret Monck's early life saw her more likely to be in front of, rather than behind the camera as she was the daughter of Frederic Thesiger, Viceroy of India. But at the age of eight she was given a Box Brownie camera for her birthday and began taking photographs. Later, when living in London and married to the filmmaker and socialist, John Goldman Monck, she began to take her camera into the industrial docklands and East End, producing the kind of candid, atmospheric shots we are more likely to associate with street photographers working two or three decades later.

Elsewhere, we have stunning portraits of the great and good by Ida Kar, the world of ballroom dancing through the lens of Jeanette Jones, Jewish life in Britain by Juliette Soester, Moyra Peralta's photographs of homelessness, and finally, the archive of Elsie Collins, who photographed food, domestic paraphernalia and household matters for 1930s women's magazines. Food photography has advanced somewhat in the past nine decades but Collins' images are a fascinating glimpse into the aspirations of the 1930s housewife.

Our newsletters aim to investigate every nook and cranny of our collection, but if you can't find what you're looking for, or if you need a quote or have any other questions about using our library, you can contact us by email at or by calling 020 8318 0034.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
Unsubscribe here