Mar 21 2012: Nine Monochrome Photographs Showing Children in a Variety of Roles and Locations (1900s – 1960s)

We’ve already featured galleries of children on holiday at Butlin’s and Victorian children, 1950s or 60s childhoods and advertising for childrens’ products, so in some ways the gallery here is something of a mopping up operation, bringing together a random array of images united not by period or format, but merely by the fact of children being the subjects. Some – like the image above – carry the DNA of Enid Blyton and CS Lewis in their photo-chemical make-up, while others present strangely alienated everyday scenes, as in Toddler With A Ball Exploring a Wilderness, in which the contrast of small child and open central space conjures an atmosphere of being lost straight out of a Grimm Fairytale, or Portrait of a Girl Standing on a Promenade, which contrasts the central subject’s quasi-military posture with the looser, more leisurely background activity.  I’m not sure if they indicate anything about childhood itself, its consistency over decades or its changing nature, but each, in its own way, has something compelling enough to pause over in its visual composition and details.

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