The hidden history of the City wall

By meriel jeater on 15 Nov 2012

By Meriel Jeater, Museum of London Curator Here is a brief snapshot of some research I have recently undertaken to understand the evolution of London’s city wall. A section of the Roman city wall still survives in a garden outside the Museum of London. I mention these remains on my tours of the Roman fort gate, which still exist in a room next to the London Wall car park. It is sometimes tricky to explain to visitors why the wall, while having Roman origins, is made mostly from Victorian brick and includes two medieval towers. The short answer is that […]

How the East Was Won

By other museum staff on 4 Oct 2011

On a bright Sunday morning seventy-five years ago today the East End became a battlefield in the continental struggle between Fascism and democracy that would engulf the world three years later. The Battle of Cable Street (external link) now rightly enjoys legendary status. Looking at the grainy images of the day’s events is a powerful reminder of a time when so much was at stake and how an East London conflict could have global resonance. On October 4th 1936 Oswald Mosley intended to commemorate the fourth founding anniversary of his British Union of Fascists by marching around 3000 ‘Blackshirts’ into the heart […]

Henry Grant: London Street photographer

By other museum staff on 15 Aug 2011

From the early 1950s through to the 1980s the photographer Henry Grant was out documenting the everyday lives and experiences of Londoners. He was a freelance photographer by trade but between assignments he would take pictures of the people of London. His photographs offer a window into the real lives of Londoners over four decades. His work starts with an austere post war London and includes his interest in demonstrations, immigrant communities, the rise of youth culture and children at play. The Exploring 20th Century London project, which has over 300 of his pictures online, has made this audio slideshow (click […]

Last of our Big Issue vendor's pictures for London Street Photography project

By john joyce on 18 Apr 2011

Today our final Big Issue vendor, Richard, shares a selection of the images he has taken capturing life on the streets of London as part of a joint project between the Museum of London and The Big Issue around our current London Street Photography exhibition. Richard’s photographs now join those taken by Viv, Hazel and Mahesh with a number of images from across this project appearing in a forthcoming edition of The Big Issue. Images will then be selected to be displayed in the London Street Photography exhibition which continues until 3 September at the Museum of London. The following five images from Richard highlight unguarded snapshots of moments that are in turn curious, […]

The spirit of discovery: a word of welcome from the psychogeographical travel agency by Sebastian Groes

By star guest on 8 Apr 2011

Sebastian Groes c. Andrew Porter Ahead of his event with Will Self, at the Museum of London, on the 12th of April, Sebastian Groes talks psychogeography… In July 1992, my father went to Los Angeles for business, and took me with him. I was seventeen and, as a boy from a Dutch hamlet, knee-deep in polder mud and accustomed only to endless fields of tulips beneath a light blue skyscape. Soon I was bored of the endless visits to overheated warehouses and air-conditioned offices, and my father decided to drop me at Venice Beach. It was a working day, and […]

New Exhibition – Street Cries: depictions of London's Poor

By lucy inglis on 23 Mar 2011

Ink Seller, c1759 by Paul Sandby © Museum of London From Friday the new Street Cries exhibition about London’s eighteenth century poor opens here at the Museum of London. The Cries refers to the different occupations of the beggarly street-sellers depicted, and the shouts they would have used to advertise their wares. Cries were issued by various artists throughout the century with varying degrees of success, and are meant to represent different types of people who dwelt upon the margins of Georgian London. As the urban population increased throughout the period, so did the fear of poverty and vagrancy and the nature […]

Walking through the grey soul of London, looking up at the stars by Robert Kingham

By star guest on 16 Mar 2011

I have caught strange glimpses of a walk through Finsbury out of the corner of my eye since reading Peter Ackroyd’s Biography of London. For him, its streets were an archetype: not ‘grand or imposing’, nor ‘squalid or desolate’, but instead seeming ‘to contain the grey soul of London, that slightly smoky and dingy quality which has hovered over the city for many hundreds of years’. Furthermore, he wrote of the fascination its streets held for Arthur Machen (1863-1947), a writer whose stories often combined a love for London with a deep fear of it, intermingled with a common theme […]

Our third The Big Issue vendor submits London Street Photography images

By john joyce on 8 Mar 2011

Today we bring you images taken by The Big Issue vendor Viv, who has over the last two weeks, as part of a project in conjunction with The Big Issue, been capturing life on London’s streets.  A selection of work  on this ongoing project will eventually be displayed in our London Street Photography exhibition. This picture was taken at Embankment and Viv has added the following extract from her diary regarding help provided to the homeless in this area of London: “…one of the biggest soup runs in London [is located nearby] and they come out once a week and it’s run by […]

London Street Photography: a curators view by Mike Seaborne

By other museum staff on 28 Feb 2011

Today street photography is a vibrant part of London’s visual culture. It seems to reflect perfectly the diversity and controlled chaos of one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Contemporary street photographers are attracted by the endless supply of curious incidents and unexpected juxtapositions that contribute so much to London’s character. However, street photography in London is far from new. The first ‘instantaneous’ street scenes – those where traffic and people are captured in mid-motion – were taken in the early 1860s and by the 1890s candid street photographers with hand-held, and sometimes hidden, cameras were snapping Londoners […]

The Big Issue vendor Hazel continues to capture street photography in London

By john joyce on 15 Feb 2011

Today we bring you Hazel’s final update following on from her first posting last week of photographs she is taking as part of a project in conjunction with The Big Issue to capture Big Issue vendors own unique view of London’s streets to form part of our exhibition London Street Photography which opens on Friday. Having been briefed to capture life as its happens on the street and avoid posed pictures, Hazel has contributed the following ‘street photographs’ for possible inclusion in the exhibition. This project finishes at the end of March after our fifth volunteer has submitted their images. It is planned that the chosen […]