LONDON, March 04, 2014 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Photographs taken more than a century ago by a mysterious London photographer showing everyday London life shortly before the First World War will go on display at a gallery in East London this month. CA Mathew: Photographs Of Spitalfields A Century Ago opens on 7th March and runs until 27th April at the Eleven Spitalfields gallery at 11 Princelet Street. The gallery is close to Liverpool Street station in the heart of London's colourful Spitalfields area. Visitors to London should check out LondonTown.com for a guide to the great restaurants, pubs, galleries and shops in the area, as well as to see the latest rates for London hotels.
Little is known about CA Mathew, who began photographing Londoners going about their everyday business in April 1912. He lived in Essex and travelled to Liverpool Street station, where he set about photographing Londoners in unposed, informal situations, thus offering a fascinating window on life in the metropolis 100 years ago. Mathew died in 1916 leaving behind a vivid evocation of London street life in these extraordinary images.
Mathew's photograph passed into the collection of the Bishopsgate Institute and have been carefully restored by contemporary photographer Jeremy Freedman. They are a haunting study of a lost London, depicting buildings that have been destroyed either in war or by developers, and people who have long since passed away. The photographs were only discovered a few years ago at the Bishopsgate Institute, where they had been stored for at least 60 years. Freedman has diligently restored them, and archivists have studied them to try and ascertain why they were taken – as many of the photographs feature derelict or abandoned buildings, they were possibly commissioned by a local property developer, hoping to make moves in the area. The photographs were never published and have never before been on public display. For more about this and other photographic exhibitions in London in 2014, see LondonTown.com.
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