Drawn By Light exhibition at the London Science Museum Media Space

Update: this exhibition will now be at the National Media Museum in Bradford from 20th March – 21st June 2015

The latest exhibition at Media Space packs more Iconic photographic prints into one room than you’ve probably ever seen in your lifetime. As soon as you walk in you can’t help but notice one of the most iconic photographs of all time: Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’. I’ve seen the ‘Afghan Girl’ image many times but this is the first time I’ve seen a print and it’s absolutely gorgeous, hanging next to it was Yousuf Karsh’s 1947 iconic portrait of Winston Churchill.

Steve McCurry Afghan Girl Yousuf Karsh Winston Churchill Drawn By Light Media Space

As soon as walk into Drawn By Light you will see Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’ and Yousuf
and Karsh’s portrait of Winston Churchill side by side

That’s how this exhibition is, you walk around spotting iconic image after iconic image and the ones that you don’t recognise will up give you more insight into the history of photography. It’s a must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in photographic arts, the history of photography or just history itself.

Drawn by light exhibition at the London Science Museums Media Space

Media Space was able to put together this incredible selection of photographic prints because the National Media Museum (which is part of the Science Museum) recently acquired the Royal Photographic Society‘s print collection. This collection contains a quarter of a million images, the 200 on show is just the tip of the iceberg. It is so vast because photographers have been donating to it for over 100 years, the collection spans the entire history of Photography and is one of the largest collections of its kind.

Alfred George Buckham The Heart of the Empire Larry Borrows Wounded GI Harold Eugene Milk drop Coronet Roger Fenton The Valley of the Shadow of Death at Drawn By Light

There is just to many iconic photographs there are to mention but here is a small selection of what is on show:
Alfred George Buckham – The Heart of the Empire 1925 | Larry Borrows – Wounded GI 1966
Harold Eugene – Milk drop Coronet 1957 | Roger Fenton – The Valley of the Shadow of Death 1855

Along with all the recognisable iconic images there is a replica display of photos as it would have been shown by the Royal Photographic Society. Rather than a neat row of images they are crammed in floor to ceiling. Opposite is an interactive display where detailed information about the work can be read. It’s not just photos that are shown, objects like Fox Talbot’s cameras and Nièpce’s heliographs are on display to.

Royal Photographic Society display at draw by light

One of the Royal Photographic Society’s as it would of been seen in the 1880s.

The exhibition is on until the 1st of March, Nick Hedges’ free exhibition ‘Make Life Worth Living’ is in the gallery next door and has been extend until March the 1st as well. I’ve also written about ‘Make Life Worth Living’ on my blog. Admission is £8 and Concessions are £5. After the Science Museum Draw by Light it will go to the National Media Museum, Bradford from the 20th March – 21st June 2015. In 2017 it will go on show at Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Germany (exact date TBA).

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