Instagram street photography winners announced

By ellen stuart on 29 Oct 2015

Embankment by _london_i

Christina Broom captured thousands of images of London at the start of the 20th century. This summer, in celebration of the first major exhibition of works by Christina Broom at the Museum of London Docklands, we invited you to follow in her footsteps with a competition to use Instagram to create images of some of the locations Broom photographed. The winners are in!

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Sartorial dissections: clothes in the photographs of Christina Broom

By beatrice behlen on 12 Oct 2015
Journalists at The Pageant of Women's Trades and Professions, 27 April 1909

Journalists at The Pageant of Women’s Trades and Professions, 27 April 1909 (detail)

My ideal job would give me licence to stare at people all day. Maybe I should have become a photographer, but while I get the depth of field thing (I think), I never really felt totally at one with a camera. Instead I have become the next best thing for a people-starer: a dress historian. My profession (no sniggering at the back!) provides me with a legitimate reason – or so I am telling myself – for gazing at others and for dissecting their appearance. I’m not too bothered whether someone is fashionably dressed or looks – or pretends to look – as if they don’t particularly care about their clothes. And when I say dissect I don’t mean judge. Whether the clothes are beautiful, ugly, boring or unremarkable (in my eyes or by general consent) is neither here nor there. I want to know why that particular person chose to wear that particular thing in combination with the other things they’ve put on. (Naturally my curiosity extends to accessories, jewellery, hair and make-up as well.)

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Christina Broom photographs the spectacles of London

By anna sparham on 13 Jul 2015
King George V, Queen Mary and Princess Mary, at a thanksgiving service at Guards Chapel, Armistice Day, 1918  © Museum of London

King George V, Queen Mary and Princess Mary, at a thanksgiving service at Guards Chapel, Armistice Day, 1918 © Museum of London

The London that Christina Broom knew and embraced as she embarked on her ventures with photography in 1903 would profoundly shape her ambitions, subject matter and way of working. Tradition, pageantry and ceremony, in keeping with the era, interweave Broom’s work. This might be deemed fairly conventional. Yet her compositions, approach and the access she determinedly obtained, indicative of this photographer’s strength of character, define and distinguish her images from the work of her contemporaries. Read the full postRead the full post

Christina Broom: The Business of Postcards

By guest on 6 Jul 2015
Christina Broom with her postcards stall at the Women’s War Work Exhibition, 1916

Christina Broom with her postcards stall at the Women’s War Work Exhibition, 1916

Against the leading Edwardian women photographers, Broom’s entrée to postcard production stood out as a unique business venture. She turned to producing picture postcards just as they were becoming a popular cultural phenomenon. Although pre-stamped official government postcards had been available for sending messages in Britain since 1870, the picture postcard offered a product that was original, functional and commercial. Read the full postRead the full post

Christina Broom: Ceremony and Soldiering

By guest on 29 Jun 2015
Life Guards S. Raper, Sidney Crockett and William H. Beckham, 13 September 1915 © Museum of London

Life Guards S. Raper, Sidney Crockett and William H. Beckham, 13 September 1915 © Museum of London

Photography has played an important part in shaping public understanding of the world’s armed forces since the mid-nineteenth century. John McCosh (1805–85), a Scottish surgeon and amateur photographer serving with the East India Company’s Bengal Army, created what are currently believed to be the earliest photographs of British soldiers between 1843 and 1856, a period which included the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848–9). Elsewhere, an unknown daguerreotypist photographed American troops during the American–Mexican war of 1846–8. Despite the obvious constraints of early technology, both photographers captured the combination of ceremony and soldiering that forms the essence of military life. Read the full postRead the full post

A Riot of Colour: Christina Broom and the Suffragettes

By guest on 22 Jun 2015

Young Suffragettes © Museum of London

Mrs Albert Broom took some of the best photographs of the brave women who campaigned for the vote in London in the years up to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. One of the earliest of these images in the Museum of London’s collection is of the Suffragettes, members of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union, at their ‘monster’ meeting in Hyde Park on ‘Women’s Sunday’, 21 June 1908. Her last suffrage photograph captures the arrival of the Cumberland suffragists, members of the moderate National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, ‘Women’s Pilgrimage’ to the capital on 26 July 1913.
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An introduction to Christina Broom

By anna sparham on 19 Jun 2015


In 1903, Christina Broom – Mrs Albert Broom, to use her professional name – propelled herself into the field of photography as a business venture to support her family. Rising from self-taught novice to a semi-official photographer for the Household Brigade, she emerged as a pioneer for women press photographers in the UK.

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