What a fantastic day in London on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and I was able to visit the three galleries I wanted before the exhibits ended. I started the day by visiting the Museum of London and the Street Photography exhibit. This was the top of my “to do” list as soon as I got here as it was only running through Sunday. I managed to be at the gallery early and was the first through the doors. It has been a sell out every weekend since its opening. I wish I could insert photos from the exhibit here but there was a ‘no picture taking’ policy in effect. I did by the exhibition book and can’t wait to slowly relive my visit. The photos covered the late 1800’s to present day in London. I was over whelmed by the early photos, their detail and composition especially when you remember they were using large format cameras and long exposures. I could have stayed there all day, but I was on a tight schedule so I had to move on to the Whitechapel Gallery in East London to see the Whitechapel in B&W and the Thomas Struth photos.
I’ve never been to the Whitechapel area of London and have to admit when I first starting coming here more than 12 years ago I would not have ventured into this part of London. It’s not that far from the Museum of London and so I decided to walk. As I was walking there the streets were lined with police vans and hundreds of officers. I kept going until I saw so many that I had to stop and ask one of them what was going on. he told me a demonstration was planned for that day and they were worried about violence breaking out. I found out I had 2 hours before it was to start. So I didn’t get to explore the area as much as I would have liked. There’s a new exhibit next month so I just might go back. I stumbled on some other areas as I walked out of the neighborhood toward Piccadilly and my next gallery. I’ll share those photos on another day.
So then it was on to the Royal Academy of Arts and the exhibit of Hungarian photographers, the most famous being Robert Capa. I immediately went to the area where his photos from WWII were being shown. Standing in front of the classic photo of the soldier landing on the beach on D-Day took my breath away. After I looked at it for some time and then his others I went back and started at the beginning. There were about 400 photos to see and I spent a few hours studying each one.
I ended my day by sitting in the courtyard enjoying a cold drink and watching the people walk by. What a great start to my trip.