Beneath the Surface

Presented by the Victoria & Albert Museum, Photo London and Somerset House

An exhibition of rarely-displayed and unseen works from the Victoria and Albert Museum's preeminent collection of photographs

21 May – 24 August 2015
Open daily 10.00-18.00 (last admission 17.15)
Embankment Galleries, South Wing

£6.00 / £5.00 concessions

Tickets are available from the admissions desk on the day


An exhibition commissioned by Photo London that opened concurrently with the inaugural Photo London fair and continues until 24 August 2015. In keeping with the breadth of photographic works represented at Photo London, Beneath the Surface reflects the international scope and historical depth of the V&A’s preeminent collection of photographs.

This exhibition of some 200 works reflects the Embankment Galleries’ riverfront location in one of London’s most ancient quarters, focussing on images of water, the topography of the city and the people within it. Depictions of water - implying depths beneath the surface - provide a metaphor for the richness of the V&A’s collection, the exhibition also includes photographs of the museum itself. Selected from a collection that dates back to 1852, Beneath the Surface comprises unseen or rarely-displayed photographs chosen by Martin Barnes, the museum’s Senior Curator of Photographs.

Beneath the Surface includes works by the earliest practitioners in the field, including nineteenth-century masters William Strudwick, Victor Prout and Charles Thurston Thompson; great observers of twentieth-century life such as Thurston Hopkins, John Gay and Brassaï; contemporary and fine art photography by Susan Derges, Nigel Shafran, Sinje Dillenkofer, Stephen Gill and Naoya Hatakeyama, and photographic works by practitioners better known in other media, such as graphic designer Robert Brownjohn and installation artists Ackroyd & Harvey

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September 2016
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