London Street Photography at Museum of London

My review of the Museum of London’s excellent London Street Photography exhibition appears in the Independent today.

Street photography – the snatched and unposed glimpse of everyday life – is a fascinating genre even if it is never quite as authentic as it appears. Many of the strongest images in the exhibition reminded me of those Victorian journalists who investigated the slums of working-class London life in the 1880s and 1890s, reporting back in horror on what they found to their middle-class readers.

Thanks to these pioneeers, we now have evocative visual records of London life. My favourite were probably the images Roger Mayne took in the late 1950s to record the streets in West London that were scheduled to be demolished and replaced by Trellick Tower. A book of Mayne’s photographs has just been republished and can be purchased at the Museum of London bookshop, along with the excellent accompanying book for the exhibition.

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