Historical London photos to go on display in Moscow

1937 Coronation
Waiting in Trafalgar Square for the coronation parade of King George VI. 1937. Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson

These photographs, which are due to go on display in an exhibition in Moscow, show London as a dynamic metropolis, richly varied and full of contrast.

The affluent upper and middle classes are documented alongside the working class and urban poor, surviving life in the city as beggars and street vendors.

Emblems of London life such as pearly kings and bowler hats are captured alongside the city’s growing cultural diversity.

Pearly King in 1935
Pearly King collecting money for the Empire Day. 1935. Credit: Dora Maar
Coronation of George VI
Coronation of George VI, 12th May 1937. Credit: Henri Cartier-Bresson
Tram on Westminster Bridge. 1949.
Tram on Westminster Bridge. 1949. Credit: Rene Groebli
Couple dining in 1934
A couple have tea at Lyons Corner House, Tottenham Court Road, London. 1934. Credit: Wolfgang Suschitzky

The “Another London” exhibition includes images from London’s Cold War years when visiting the capital was prohibited for ordinary Russians.

“The photographs that will be shown in this exhibition are taken from the 1930s to the 1970s and represent a period of history when the vast majority of Russians were unable to visit London.

“As an historical snapshot of a city and its people, this exhibition promises to be thought-provoking and enlightening.

“Given that these two cities were off-limits for each other’s inhabitants for so many years, this exhibition in particular is a kind of catch up on an important period of London’s history that could not be experienced first-hand.”

– Paul de Quincey, the British Council’s director in Russia
Woman speaking in Hyde Park, London. 1953.
Meeting in Hyde Park. 1953. Credit: Ernst Haas
Businessman in 1937.
London Stock Exchange, a typical young businessman. 1937. Credit: Emil Hoppe
Two girls wear Union Jack hats in 1977
Two girls wear Union Jack hats for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in Greenwich, 1977 Credit: Martine Franck

The exhibition, which opens on 19 February, is part of the UK-Russia year of culture organised by the British Council and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.