Bert Hardy: Photojournalism in War and Peace opens at The Photographers’ Gallery this spring,
from 23 February – 2 June 2024.
From his early career as a news and sports photographer, to serving combat cameraman and successful advertising entrepreneur, this retrospective of renowned photojournalist Bert Hardy (1913-1995, London, UK) shines a fresh light on his four decades long career.
Hardy is often associated with a nostalgic, monochrome vision of mid-century Britain – from
the Blitz spirit of 1940 to children playing in post-war city streets, and seaside scenes from the
1950s. Pulling together work from his archive and historical publications, this retrospective
reveals another perspective on a versatile, international and entrepreneurial image-maker.
Born into a working-class family in Blackfriars, Hardy was entirely self-taught and worked his
way up from lab assistant to become an influential press and documentary photographer. Well known for his work at Picture Post magazine, Hardy travelled extensively, covering news, social
issues and popular culture stories across the UK and internationally. His long-time collaborator,
Tom Hopkinson, Editor of Picture Post (1940-50) described Hardy as ‘The nearest to an all round cameraman I ever worked with. There were few assignments – except perhaps theatre
and ballet – on which I wouldn’t have wished to send him.’
‘Everywhere I look, and most of the time I look, I see photographs.’ – Bert Hardy
Known for his empathetic portrayal of everyday scenes of British life, Hardy’s work also
demonstrates a strong commitment to revealing social conditions and working class lives in
the post-war years. Hardy had a genuine interest in people’s lives and said ‘The ideal picture
tells something of the essence of life. It sums up emotion, it holds the feeling of movement
thereby implying the continuity of life.’
As well as historic material from his work at Britain’s leading photo-magazine of the time,
Picture Post, the exhibition includes photographs taken during his time in the Army Film and
Photographic Unit, including imagery from the London Blitz to the liberation of Bergen-Belsen
and war in Southeast Asia.
Bert Hardy: Photojournalism in War and Peace includes Hardy’s wide-ranging social
documentary work across many cities in mid-century Britain, including London, Liverpool,
Cardiff, Belfast, Tyneside and Glasgow. His travels across post-war Europe and images from
the many conflicts he reported on will also be on show. A rich selection of material from Hardy’s
archive, including press passes, correspondence, diaries, and original publications will be
displayed, alongside some of his lesser-known colour work.
Hard-working, resourceful and imaginative, Hardy was constantly taking and making
opportunities to build a remarkable photographic career as a photojournalist. Later in his
career, he worked as a commercial photographer, specialising in advertising and branding until
his retirement in 1965.
Bert Hardy: Photojournalism in War and Peace is organised with the generous support of The
Bert Hardy Estate, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Getty Images Hulton Archive and Cardiff
University. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Dr Tom Allbeson, Senior Lecturer in
Media History, Cardiff University.
The Estate of Bert Hardy is represented by Print Sales at The Photographers’ Gallery. Hardy’s
work is available to buy from £1500 + VAT. All profits from Print Sales support The
Photographers’ Gallery programme.
The Photographers’ Gallery explores how photography is connecting, captivating and radically changing our world today. The Gallery’s programme and spaces – from exhibitions, events and
digital platforms to the galleries, shop and café – all explore the beauty, complexity and future
of photography. Right outside the Gallery, the very best of contemporary photography is shown
for free, day and night, in Soho Photography Quarter.
Find out more at: thephotographersgallery.org.uk
Visitor information – The Photographers’ Gallery
Mon – Weds 10am – 6pm
Thurs & Fri 10am – 8pm (Friday free from 5pm)
Sat 10am – 6pm
Sun 11am – 6pm
Tickets – your ticket covers entry to all exhibitions on the day of your visit.
£8 / £5 concessions (members go free)
Advance online booking: £6.50 / £4 concessions
Also on show at The Photographers’ Gallery, 23 February – 2 June 2024
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024 & Café Royal Books
In Soho Photography Quarter: Sian Davey – The Garden, until November 2024, free
The Photographers’ Gallery
16-18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW
Nearest London Underground Station: Oxford Circus
T: + 44 (0)20 7087 9300