This major exhibition presents an unrivalled selection of classic modernist images from the 1920s to the 1950s – a crucial moment in the history of photography. In this period of rapid change, photography offered a new means to communicate and represent the world.
Iconic photographs from one of the world’s greatest private collections
Street life and the modern metropolis were explored through the camera, while well-known genres such as the portrait, nude and still life were reimagined.
Featuring over 150 rare vintage prints, the exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see remarkable works by seminal figures such as Man Ray, André Kertész, Berenice Abbott, Alexandr Rodchenko and Edward Steichen, telling the story of photography from the period for the first time in the UK..
It is a great honour for David and I to lend part of our collection to Tate Modern for this groundbreaking exhibition. The modernist era in photography is one of the key moments within the medium and collecting work from this period has brought me great joy over the last 25 years. Each of these photographs serves as inspiration for me in my life; they line the walls of my homes and I consider them precious gems. We are thrilled to be part of this collaboration with Tate Modern and hope that the exhibition audience experiences as much joy in seeing the works as I have had in finding them.
Sir Elton John
This will be a truly unique exhibition. There are few collections of modernist photography in the UK, so we are delighted that Sir Elton John has allowed us to draw on his incredible collection and give everyone a chance to see these iconic works. Coming face-to-face with such masterpieces of photography will be a rare and rewarding experience.
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate