Grace Robertson, photography pioneer, dies at 90 – The Guardian

UK news
Guiding photojournalist, regularly published in Picture Post, documented life in postwar Britain

Wed 13 Jan 2021 20.13 GMT

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” Back then was the 1950s, when Grace worked for Picture Post in Britain, her mild design of observational photojournalism chiming with the postwar publics hunger for images that reflected the little enjoyments of peacetime.Picture Post, a weekly news periodical that frequently published the work of a generation of pioneering photojournalists, including Bert Hardy and Bill Brandt, was established in 1938 by her dad, Fyfe Robertson, a popular BBC TELEVISION reporter in the 50s and 60s.” Robertson had an intense eye for social history, realising in this circumstances that the working-class community the ladies belonged to was under danger from the high-rise developments being developed in the city.Tea Time. Photo: Grace Robertson/Getty ImagesThe series became so iconic that Life publication commissioned her to reshoot a version of it 2 years later on, this time featuring another group of women who were regulars at a bar in Clapham.She was embarrassed and astonished when Life offered her with a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce for the story. Strikingly tall, unmistakably middle-class, and from a Scottish background, Robertson chose from the starting to make her distinction work in her favour, spending time with individuals up until they accepted her.In 1955 she released a pioneering series on giving birth which included what were then considered graphic images of a young lady providing birth.Belonging by temperament to the left politically, she was likewise, with hindsight, a proto-feminist, whose work often showed the experiences and everyday lives of women in Britain.”I took any chance to work on stories that permitted me to fulfill other women,” she later on said.She married fellow professional photographer Thurston Hopkins, in 1955, whom she fulfilled while they were both working for Picture Post.

” Gentle photos are most likely dead as a dodo today,” Grace Robertson, the professional photographer who has died aged 90, informed the Guardian in 2010, “but at that time it was different.” Back then was the 1950s, when Grace worked for Picture Post in Britain, her gentle style of observational photojournalism chiming with the postwar publics cravings for images that showed the small satisfaction of peacetime.Picture Post, a weekly news periodical that regularly released the work of a generation of pioneering photojournalists, including Bert Hardy and Bill Brandt, was established in 1938 by her daddy, Fyfe Robertson, a well-known BBC TELEVISION press reporter in the 50s and 60s. On the caterpillar essay. Picture: Grace Robertson/Rex/ShutterstockGrace, born in Manchester in 1930, later remembered being puzzled as a teenager by the scarceness of career choices readily available to her.” There were only 3 jobs thought about by society as appropriate– mentor, secretarial work or nursing, just to complete up until you got your guy.” After she revealed an interest in photography, her dad, in 1949, bought her an electronic camera, enthusiastically motivating her to try her hand at what was then a combative, male-dominated, medium.She at first sent her pictures to Picture Post under a male pseudonym– Dick Muir– not wanting to draw attention to the truth that she was Fyfe Robertsons child. On an early rejection slip, an image editor wrote “persevere, boy”. Grace Robertson in 2000. Photo: Jane BownIn 1951, she had her very first series, A Schoolgirl Does Her Homework, published. It featured her younger sister, Elizabeth.Other photo essays by her were published in the years that followed, including Sheep Shearing in Wales (1951 ), Tate Gallery (1952 ), and Mothers Day Off (1954 ). The latter series, which became her most well known, was a record of a day-trip to Margate by a group of middle-aged and older working-class females she had encountered in a bar in Bermondsey, London, and befriended.” Their energy was awesome,” she said. She later on remembered: “These women were survivors.” Robertson had an intense eye for social history, realising in this circumstances that the working-class neighborhood the ladies belonged to was under threat from the high-rise advancements being built in the city.Tea Time. 1952. A wife waits with her young child for news of her hubby caught in Korea. Photograph: Grace Robertson/Getty ImagesThe series became so renowned that Life magazine commissioned her to reshoot a variation of it 2 years later on, this time featuring another group of women who were regulars at a pub in Clapham.She was ashamed and astonished when Life provided her with a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce for the story. “He firmly insisted on following us to Margate while I entered the coach,” she told the Guardian in 2006. “The ladies found it, but luckily it didnt destroy the story as we got on so well.”
Noticeably high, unmistakably middle-class, and from a Scottish background, Robertson decided from the starting to make her difference work in her favour, spending time with individuals till they accepted her.In 1955 she released a pioneering series on giving birth which included what were then considered graphic images of a young female offering birth.Belonging by character to the left politically, she was likewise, with hindsight, a proto-feminist, whose work frequently showed the experiences and daily lives of women in Britain.”I took any chance to work on stories that allowed me to fulfill other females,” she later said.She married fellow professional photographer Thurston Hopkins, in 1955, whom she fulfilled while they were both working for Picture Post.

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