Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Spitalfields Nippers at Pre-Raphaelite exhibition

The Spitalfieldslife blog by the gentleauthor has publicised a riveting collection of photos taken in 1901-2 by Horace Warner, superintendent of the Bedford Institute, a Quaker mission.   Entitled Spitalfields Nippers, the photos are all of youngsters, in the streets and yards, with one striking group in the newly-opened Whitechapel Art Gallery during the inaugural exhibition of 'Modern Pictures by Living Artists' including the Pre-Raphaelites. This shows five children and a babe-in-arms grouped for the camera in front of several paintings, including two by Burne-Jones - an oil version of the stained glass design of St Luke and a levitating female figure of Hope.    They were presumably loaned by Georgiana, since EBJ died in 1898. One intriguing connection links the photographer with the painter, because Warner's family firm was that of Jeffrey & Co., which printed wallpapers for Morris & Co., in which of course Burne-Jones was an original partner.  Possibly Warner chose to pose his Nippers by Burne-Jones's works because of his connection.

Crowd-sourcing is requested to fund publication of the unique collection.  For more information:

and another image of Spitalfields kids (the same group I think) among Pre-Raphaelite pictures

with a link to the published volume here

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