The explosion in photography over the last century or so has created a niche of sorts for amateurs in specialist collections, galleries and cultural institutions; some shots are becoming valued not for their author or even particularly their subjects, but for where, when and why they were taken.
Born out of the democratisation of photography equipment and the increase in collectors’ societies, these orphaned photos – rescued from drawers, family albums, postcard printers’ archives, photography clubs and little-known artists’ studios – constitute an unmissable and fascinating treasure trove. Because they abolish the notion of artistic authorship, and because they challenge the fundamental definition of a work of art, these anonymous snapshots write a new history of photography: there’s no categorisation here, no theories, no official critics, no big names. The observer’s gaze is the only judge of the interest and beauty of a landscape captured by a Sunday photographer or a Photobooth portrait.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 1.30pm-6.30pm