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Bill Brandt (1904-1983)


Bill Brandt (1904-1983)

Bill Brandt was born in Hamburg, Germany on 3 May 1904, into a wealthy family of bankers and merchants. He spent his early years in Germany, and then, as he suffered from tuberculosis, at sanatoria in Switzerland and Austria. He moved to London in 1933 and, by the time of his death in 1983, had transformed himself into a quintessential Englishman – the result of a lifetime trying to bury his roots. He had also become world-famous for his highly idiosyncratic photographs.

Brandt’s early work was a mixture of photojournalism for magazines such as '
Picture Post', and personal photographic projects that he undertook – some being published as books such as 'The English At Home ' (1936), and 'London At Night ' (1938). Both as a photojournalist and an Anglophile, Brandt was drawn to the British class system, and much of his work highlights its inequalities during the inter-war years.

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