Tim Walker and Dorothy Bohm get V&A shows as the institution prepares to open its photo centre

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He’s best-known for his work with British and Italian Vogue, but Tim Walker is also a successful solo artist, opening his third solo show at London’s V&A on 07 September 2019 (his first two were also in London, at the Design Museum in 2008, and at Somerset House in 2012). The exhibition will feature a “brand new body of work inspired by the V&A’s collection,” stated V&A director Tristram Hunt as he announced the show yesterday, adding: “He will work his magic and come up with a series of photos.”

Starting his career by working in the Condé Nast picture library, where he worked on the Cecil Beaton archive for a year before university, Walker went on to assist Richard Avedon and shot his first story for Vogue at the age of 25. Famous for his use of elaborate sets, Walker is collaborating with celebrated British art director Shona Heath on his V&A show, which will include photographs, films, sets and installations around the museum.

Dorothy Bohm gets a solo show at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood from 03 November 2018 – 17 March 2019, focusing on her images of children. Born in 1924 to a Jewish-Lithuanian family in the then-Konigsberg, East Prussia, Bohm was sent to the UK when she was 15 to escape the threat of Nazism. Her father gave her a Leica camera as a parting gift, sparking off a 75 year career that also included co-founding The Photographers’ Gallery in 1971. Her images of children were shot all over the world but, states the V&A, “our shared experiences of childhood shine through”.

Haifa, Israel April 1959 © Dorothy Bohm

The V&A is also currently working with Thomas Ruff on a newly-commissioned series of photographs, inspired by paper negatives of India and Burma, which were shot by Linnaeus Tripe in the 1850s and which are held in the V&A collection. Ruff’s images will be shown in the V&A’s new photography centre when it opens in the main museum on 12 October, along with newly-acquired photographs by Linda McCartney, and a display tracing the history of photography through the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) collection (which was controversially transferred to the V&A from Bradford last year).

The new photo centre will more than double the V&A’s current photography exhibition space – and Phase Two of the project, which is due to open in 2022, will see the museum add more gallery space, a teaching and research facility, and a browsing library, plus a studio and darkroom which will enable photographers’ residencies.

www.vam.ac.uk Tim Walker is on show from 07 September 2019 – 08 March 2020; Dorothy Bohm is on show from 03 November 2018 – 17 March 2019 at the VA& Museum of Childhood


Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy