Must-see summer photography shows

  • 4 June 2015

From fiercely competitive pioneers to modern masters of the medium, here are this season's unmissable photography exhibitions.

1. Photography: A Victorian Sensation, National Museum of Scotland

50% off with National Art Pass

Witness the battle between the two pioneers of photography in its infancy. Working individually on opposite sides of the channel, Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre were fierce competitors, each developing their own photographic methods. Some of the first ever photographic prints are on display, including fascinating images of the 1851 Great Exhibition and Victorian Edinburgh (19 June – 22 November 2015).

2. Captain Linneaus Tripe: Photographer of India and Burma 1854-1860, V&A

Free entry to all

During his leave from the East India Company army, Linnaeus Tripe began to experiment with photography and soon became one of the most prominent figures in developing the medium. His travels with the army took him to places that had never before captured on film. Part of the V&A India Festival, this exhibition features 60 of Tripe’s pictures from his trips around India and Burma (24 June – 11 October 2015)​.

3. Bailey’s Stardust, Scottish National Gallery

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‘The king lion on the Savannah: incredibly attractive, with a dangerous vibe. He was the electricity, the brightest, most powerful, most talented, most energetic force at the magazine’; that is how Penelope Tree, David Bailey’s former girlfriend, described him to British Vogue. This landmark exhibition showcases photographs from a career that has spanned over half a century. Alongside new work, Bailey’s iconic portraits of the Rolling Stones, Catherine Bailey (his wife) and his home in London will be on display (18 July – 19 October 2015).

4. At Home with Vanley Burke, Ikon Gallery

Free entry to all

Vanley Burke was born in Jamaica and emigrated to England in the 1960s; soon after, he began documenting black British communities, seeking to counteract their often stereotypical and negative depiction in the media. Ikon is transferring the entire contents of Burke’s Birmingham flat – including photographs, books, posters and ornaments – to the gallery, a project realised through the Art Fund's crowdfunding platform Art Happens. Burke's work and collections provide a powerful and creative insight into black British life and history (22 July – 27 September 2015).

5. Lee Miller and Picasso, Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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By the time she met Picasso, Lee Miller had been one of the most sought-after models in New York, the muse and pupil of Man Ray, and had set up her own photography studio. Miller met Picasso in 1937 at the fashionable Hôtel Vaste Horizon and took her first shot of him on the hotel grounds. It was the start of a series that would span over 1,000 photographs which document their enduring friendship. This exhibition celebrates their relationship with 100 photographs from Miller’s archive and two works by Picasso (23 May – 6 September 2015).

6. Soldiers and Suffragettes: The Photography of Christina Broom, Museum of London Docklands

Free entry to all

Christina Broom is an unsung trailblazer. She is regarded as the first female press photographer who captured key moments in Britain’s history, such as the parades of the First World War and the processions of the suffragettes. Despite taking over 40,000 photographs and being published in Tatler, Country Life and Illustrated London News, Broom remains relatively unknown. The exhibition aims to redress this by exploring the fascinating story of this self-taught novice who turned photography into a business venture to support her family (19 June – 1 November). 

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Tags: What to seeExhibitions