Robertson, Grace. (2 of 19). Oral History of British Photography.

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  • Recording date

    1993-09-27 and 1993-10-04

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home.

  • Interviewees

    Robertson, Grace, 1930- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Dein, Alan (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 2. Grace Robertson [GR] describes her aunt; comparison of her two aunts; story about journeys to Scotland from home in Lake District in Second World War (WWII); description of aunt’s life at asylum in Montrose; house keepers and inmates. Description of other aunt; retired to Hastings; story of GR being made to wear pads to hide perspiration; description of aunt’s death. Further descriptions of aunts; trips to Montrose and the coffee houses; contrast to life of parents. GR describes grandparent’s homes; story of grandfather picking up Jewish immigrants during the First World War (WWI). Comments on father; expected to be a doctor but became journalist instead; work ethic in family. Story of father’s brother hiding in grandfather’s house. Describes grandmother. Comments on father’s love of parents; father heard that his own father was dying while in Shrewsbury but could not get back in time. Mentions grandfather; his love of poetry; would write poetry for his daughters and wife; kept a diary throughout his life.

  • Description

    Performer notes : Grace Robertson was one of the few women photographers to work for the magazine Picture Post. Career as a photographer began in 1949, with Simon Guttmann and the Report agency. Worked as a freelance for Picture Post from 1950-57 until it closed. Then photographed for other British and American publications until 1960. Retrained as a teacher, and returned to photography in the 1980s. Included in the touring exhibition Women Photographers in Britain, National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford (1986). Now active as a photographer and lecturer. Retrospective exhibition has toured UK and her book Grace Robertson, Photojournalist of the 50s was published by Virago in 1989. Daughter of journalist Fyfe Robertson and married to photojournalist Godfrey Thurston Hopkins.

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