Robertson, Grace. (16 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 16. Grace Robertson [GR] describes story about childbirth; Edith Kay produced prints; returning to hospital to take photograph for magazine cover. Comments on how to photograph a story; important to free your mind before taking photographs; favourite photographs are those that capture what a story is all about. Remarks on taking photographs of children; examples of photographs. Mentions technical help from Thurston Hopkins; story about taking photography throughout the night at a party with Picture Post photographers. Comments on her life as photographer; felt in complete control of her camera; always carrying equipment; enjoyed Studio Club; photography still little understood; lack of respect from press photographers. Describes people she had contact with; Edith Kay, valuable in the darkroom; Edgar Ainsworth art editor followed by Henry Fuller; Mary Evans organised assignments. Describes story with Hilda Marchant [HM] (a Fleet Street writer) about wives of soldiers in Korean War; unspoken rule at the Picture Post; story about car journey with HM.

  • 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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