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National Portrait Gallery sneak peek

29 October, 2010

I spoke at a press conference in London several weeks ago to announce the upcoming ‘Hoppé Portraits: Society, Studio and Street’ at the National Portrait Gallery. It’s going to be an unusual show because it brings together two totally different bodies of work. E. O. Hoppé was well-known as a celebrity portrait photographer in the 1920’s, and some of those works have been exhibited before – the NPG did a Hoppé retrospective in 1978 that featured studio pictures. Recently, working with Graham Howe, director of the E. O. Hoppé Estate Collection in Pasadena, we discovered a whole new side to the artist’s work – street pictures, most taken in London, many with a hidden camera. It turns out many of these had been published in picture magazines at the time, but they had never been exhibited. We thought it would be fun to show both kinds of work together – the ‘high’ of celebrity portraiture with the ‘low’ of street pictures. A nice summary of the exhibition appeared in the Guardian newspaper on October 7.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue written by me and the Curator of Photographs at the NPG, Terence Pepper. It won’t come out until the show opens in February 2011, but I just got a PDF of the book jacket, attached at the top of this post.


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