Suffragettes, soldiers and Christmas Day: See the shots of world's first female press photographer

By Culture24 Reporter | 23 December 2014

Under-appreciated works of formidable photographer to go on show in major exhibition next summer

Click on the picture to launch

Christina Broom, the pioneer widely regarded as the world’s first press photographer after beginning her career by publishing news pictures as postcards as a 40-year-old in 1903, will be at the centre of a major exhibition next June, the Museum of London has announced.

Broom’s striking pictures offer an alternative to some of the traditionally-held views of the First World War. Many of them depict rows of anonymous young men sat at long trestle tables, some smiling and raising glasses. A 1915 image of a banner holds the message ‘good luck to our comrades abroad’.
A black and white photo of a woman standing in front of a camera in the early 20th century
Portrait of Christina Broom taken by her daughter Winifred Broom, prior to the funeral of King Edward VII (May 1910)© Christina Broom/Museum of London
“Christina Broom is a somewhat under-appreciated figure in photography, and we hope that this major exhibition will redress this,” says Anna Sparham, the museum’s Curator of Photographs.

“It will not just show off her work, but portray Broom, who was a formidable, determined woman, and commercially-astute, taking advantage of a rapidly growing postcard market.”
“Broom’s strength of character shines through her competency at orchestrating people, directing their attention and making unflustered compositions despite the crowds and activities often surrounding them.

“Her impressive photographs can appear remarkably contemporary at times despite their historic relevance.”
Suffragettes, boat races and royal coronations are among the subjects of around 40,000 photos taken across 36 years.

  • Soldiers and suffragettes: the Photography of Christina Broom is at the Museum of London Docklands, London from June 19 – November 1 2015.

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