All posts tagged: Library of Birmingham

John Myers’ portraits

“It was a different time to now, it’s hard to remember just how scarce images were,” says John Myers. “Now you can get things on screen, in the early 1970s there was only a smattering of images available. When I give a talk, I often start by handing out a sheet of paper with a list of interests and influences in 1972-75. The names run across just half a side of A4. There aren’t that many on it, and it includes people I was interested in on the basis of one or two images.” But for Myers, this scarcity was part of the allure. After studying Fine Art with Richard Hamilton, he got into photography in 1972 “because I had never done it”; initially only familiar with Bill Brandt and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work, as photography rapidly gained recognition in Britain he soon had access to much more. “I was so excited to come across people, when photography suddenly started emerging from the shadows and books were being published,” he says. Myers started shooting with a Mamiya but, finding it “odd” to be looking down at his waist, moved to a 5×4 plate camera and soon found his stride.

2018-05-22T11:08:01+00:00

Obituary: Pete James, Curator of Photography Collections at the Library of Birmingham, 1958-2018

Peter James was an instrumental figure in British photography, establishing an outstanding collection of photography at the Library of Birmingham over his 26-year career at the institution, and researching and curating exhibitions at the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Somerset House, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Ikon Galley, the Library of Birmingham, and many more. He was also a modest and affable man, universally known as Pete and as at home over a curry as in a lecture hall delivering an academic paper. As Hilary Roberts, research curator at the Imperial War Museum, put it in a tribute on James’ Facebook page: “Pete has been a wonderful friend and exceptional colleague for more years than I can remember. His contribution to the world of photography cannot be overstated. It was a privilege to work with him and I will miss him more than I can say.”

2018-04-17T11:52:30+00:00

Photographers rally together to protest proposed Library of Birmingham cuts

Little more than a year after unveiling the flagship building to crown Birmingham city centre’s 20-year redevelopment, the local council is proposing swingeing cuts to the running of its new library, which includes a world-class archive devoted to photography, and an accompanying programme that has been widely praised for its important work and innovation in bringing it to the attention of a wider public. Campaigners have until 12 January to contest the cuts proposed by Birmingham City Council, which include making 100 of its 188 staff redundant – among them all those who work with the photography collections – and slashing funding by £1.5m over the next year. [bjp_ad_slot] The extent of the cuts A budget consultation letter produced by the council outlines the extent of the cuts in plain terms. In the letter, reproduced in a blog post by Financial Times photography critic Francis Hodgson, the assistant director of culture at Birmingham Library and Archive Services, Brian Gambles, writes that the library’s opening hours will be cut from 73 to 40 per week from 01 April, and …

2015-01-28T12:24:10+00:00

BJP Staff