Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

ORDINARY BEAUTY: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF EDWIN SMITH

Edwin Smith is one of the relatively unsung heroes of photography. His images were always beautiful, evocative, emotional and so hard to copy. Now there is a retrospective exhibition planned.

Edwin Smith (1912-1971) was the most significant British photographer of architecture and landscape in the mid twentieth century. For twenty years, his images graced many notable books and helped redefine notions of Britishness for the post-war generation. His achingly beautiful interpretations of characteristic buildings from cathedrals to cottages, and terrains from beach to bog, convey an unparalleled sense of place.

Hailed by Sir John Betjeman as a ‘genius at photography’ and by Cecil Beaton as ‘an understanding and loving connoisseur of his subject’, Edwin Smith captured the essence of the places, landscapes and buildings he photographed.

Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith will display 100 extraordinary black and white photographs from a collection of over 60,000 negatives given by Olive Cook, Smith’s widow and collaborator, to the RIBA Library. From urban scenes documenting British social history to evocative landscape images and atmospheric interiors, the images displayed reveal the genius and breadth of his work. Alongside his images of Britain the exhibition will show photographs taken on his travels to Europe as well as his published books and photographic equipment.

In September 2014, RIBA’s new Architecture Gallery will present the first major retrospective of Edwin Smith (1912 – 1971), one of Britain’s foremost 20th century photographers. Full details here

seaofsteps_ES-900

Sea of Steps Wells Cathedral

Roofscape, Whitby, North Yorkshire. (c) Edwin Smith, RIBA Librar

Roofscape, Whitby, North Yorkshire, 1959.
© Edwin Smith / RIBA Library Photographs Collection

CANTERBURY-CATHEDRAL-KENT-1955CRYPT-1-C29509

CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL, KENT, 1955 CRYPT by SMITH, EDWIN (1912-1971)

Edwin-Smith10

Edwin Smith at the Fry

www.mraggett.co.uk

Tulip Staircase, Queen’s House, Greenwich. 1970.  by Edwin Smith.

another excellent link is here and here

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One response to “ORDINARY BEAUTY: THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF EDWIN SMITH

  1. Rosalie Schultz October 2, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Edwin Smith’s work is beautiful. It evokes such wonderful feelings and appreciation of the beauty of his photographs. I now appreciate ‘Ordinary Beauty’ with a different eye.

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