Hoppé Portraits: Society, Street and Studio

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The Independent Culture

A photograph of a young pearly king will take its place next to portraits of real royalty in a major new exhibition.

The photographs by German-born Emil Otto Hoppe will go on show at the National Portrait Gallery in central London.

Hoppe, who died in London in 1972, was one of the earliest celebrity photographers and took pictures of some of the most prominent people of his day.

Among the pictures that will be shown are portraits of King George V, Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and the Duchess of York, later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Hoppe also headed out into the London streets with his camera to take pictures of ordinary people.

He said he wanted to "make a record of the various distinctive types which one used to see in London streets but which were rapidly vanishing as the result of changing conditions".

Among the pictures he took were images of the homeless, night watchmen, buskers and tattoo artists.

The show is the first major exhibition dedicated to Hoppe in more than 30 years and runs from 17 February to 30 May 30 2011.