Home » Exhibitions » London Nights at the Museum of London – 11th May 2018 to 11th November 2018

London Nights at the Museum of London – 11th May 2018 to 11th November 2018

Photograph by Nick Turpin, from Through a Glass Darkly © Nick Turpin

The Museum of London explores nocturnal London in a major new photography exhibition, London Nights which opens on the 11th May 2018.

London Nights will present the ambience, activities and emotions one might encounter after dark through contemporary and historic photographs, ranging from 19th century to the present day. The exhibition will focus on both the buzzing centre of the capital and the quieter corners of suburbia and will explore the familiar and unknown of London after dark.

Leicester Square 1900-1909 from series ‘London’ © Estate of Alvin Langdon Coburn

The exhibition will highlight three themes. The first section, London Illuminated, focuses on the aesthetic of the city at night, portraying London awash with artificial light. Looking at floodlit landmarks, neon-lit venues and vistas of the skyline, this section depicts themes of night-walking and tourism and presents alternative viewpoints.

East End Underground Station Shelter, 1940. Bill Brandt Digital Image © Museum of London

The second section, Dark Matters, deals with the more sinister side to evenings. It examines how the night can evoke feelings of fear, threat and vulnerability, both perceived and real. Ranging from documentary to conceptual and depicting images from bombing during the Blitz to scenes of crime, this section deals with the emotions of the night and offers both actual and imagined scenarios. 

A group of male and female skinhead ‘Mods’ 1969. Photographer Terry Spencer © Cara Spencer

The final section, Switch On Switch Off, looks at what happens at the end of daylight. Whether that be commuting home from work, just starting work or seeking out night life, the images in this section will explore nocturnal pursuits, whether they be work, rest or play. 

From the series ‘Dark City’ by William Eckersley © William Eckersley 2011

The exhibition presents work from almost 60 photographers and lens based artists, with at least 200 photographs and some film on show. It will draw upon the Museum of London’s own extensive photography collection as well as many significant loans from other collections and active photographers. It will be an atmospheric space giving a real sense of the transition of night time in one of the biggest metropolises in the world.

Glass lantern slide of the Embankment at Chelsea, photographed at night, made by Mercie Lack © Museum of London

Some of the photographs featured in the exhibition include: Through a Glass Darkly, Nick Turpin, A group of male and female skinhead ‘Mods’, Terry Spencer, 1969, East End Underground Shelter, Bill Brandt, 1940, Dark City, William Eckersley, 2011, Glass lantern slide of the Embankment at Chelsea, Mercie Lack and Leicester Square 1900-1909 from series ‘London’, Alvin Langdon Coburn.

There will be a range of events happening in conjunction with the exhibition. The museum will be open late every Friday of the exhibition’s run, to allow visitors to engage with the photography after hours. There will be two major, curated Lates exploring themes from within the exhibition and a wide range of evening, week day and weekend workshops and events.

If you would like further information, visit the Museum of London website here

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