Drugs and dead babies at the Queen’s bookshop

Maggs Bros is a posh antiquarian bookseller on Berkeley Square that has a Royal Warrant and is supposed to occupy the site of the most haunted house in Britain, but it is also home to a small contemporary art gallery, located out the back and accessed via 50 Hays Mews.

The latest show is being curated by New Artists and features photographs by Richie Culver taken of London crackhouses. These are loosely based on Gustave Dore’s engravings of Victorian opium dens.

Opium Smoking

The exhibition also features Polaroids by Shorvon & Hunter that explore the demise of the Polaroid and newspapers as forms of media. It’s definitely worth a look if you are in the area before it closes on Monday, December 5.

If you do, you should also pop upstairs to see a selection of some items that Maggs’s counterculture expert Carl Williams is currently selling. These include photographs of William Burroughs taken by Brion Gysin in Paris and an extraordinary mural taken from an American street gang club house. You could also pick up a copy of Carl’s latest catalogue to see if he has anything you fancy, whether it be items to do with Crowley, punk or the Weathermen. Last time I visited, he showed me some pictures he’d just acquired of dead Victorian babies, but don’t let that put you off.

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