Snapping the swinging sixties: Dorothy Bohm's photographic portraits of London go on show
Few photographers can say they have been taking pictures for 70 years, but 88-year-old Dorothy Bohm can.
Bohm first fell for London in 1939 when she marvelled at the skyline of “a city of spires, domes and palaces”.
Before moving to London, Bohm worked as a studio photographer in Manchester after studying photographic technology at Manchester College of Technology.
She settled in Hampstead, north London in 1956 after living in Paris and New York, but continued to travel for many years taking photographs in Israel, Europe, Egypt, Mexico and the Far East.
The current exhibition of Dorothy Bohm’s photography showcases her intrigue with London in the 1960s.
From an old woman standing isolated in Petticoat Lane, to a man smoking in Trafalgar Square and children playing in a Kensington alley, the photographs show a love for the London and its different inhabitants.
“Almost every area had its own character and I knew I was undertaking a very difficult task,” says Bohm about her decision to extensively photograph London in the 60s.
“I tried not to be content with just the façade or outward appearance of things. I hoped to penetrate just beyond that, to portray living London: the people who pursued their daily occupations, walked, talked, ate or relaxed and dressed in the fashions of the time.”
Born into a Jewish-Lithuanian Family in East Prussia, Bohm was sent to England at the age of 14 to escape the threat of Nazism. She graduated from Manchester College of Technology in 1942 and set up her own local portrait studio in 1946. Her significant contribution to modern photography also includes co-founding The Photographers’ gallery in London.
Dorothy Bohm: Sixties London runs from 14 March to 28 April at Proud Chelsea. The exhibition is co-curated by Bohm and her daughter Monica Bohm-Duchen.
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