The Observer Observed
A Talk by Dr Andrew Sargent
For much of his career Andrew worked for the National Monuments Record (now part of the archive of Historic England). This includes an important national collection of historic photographs.
When John Gay’s substantial collection was bequeathed to the NMR, it was immediately apparent that here was an important photographer who had been overlooked by posterity. John Gay (1909-99) was one of a generation of German émigrés who made an immense contribution to British culture and academic life, and at the height of his career he was one of the most respected photographers in the country. His stimulating perspective was to see England through the eyes of a foreigner, an observer on the outside looking in: many of his images can be read as attempts to capture the essence of Englishness.
Andrew set about to establish John Gay’s rightful place in photographic history.
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