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Howard Coster

(1885-1959), Photographer

Sitter in 5 portraits
Artist associated with 9349 portraits
Howard Coster was born in London on 27 April 1885. He was introduced to photography through his uncle who owned a photographic studio where Coster worked before he moved to South Africa to try his hand at farming. After serving in the RAF during the war he worked in a studio in South Africa where he met his future wife Joan Burr, who was also a photographer. In 1926 they moved London and opened a studio on Essex Street. Coster quickly received commissions and began to use the credit line 'Coster, Photographer of Men'. Over the next twenty years he photographed most of the leading figures in politics, literature and the arts and his work was frequently published in magazines. The National Portrait Gallery holds around 8,000 negatives, 2,000 prints, 12 albums and archive material from the Coster studio and in 1985 held a retrospective of Coster’s work.

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Vera Brittain, by Howard Coster - NPG P712

Vera Brittain

by Howard Coster
chlorobromide lustre print, 1936
On display in Room 25 on Floor 2 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG P712

Norman Wilkinson, by Howard Coster - NPG x24526

Norman Wilkinson

by Howard Coster
half-plate nitrate negative, 1920s
NPG x24526

J.B. Priestley, by Howard Coster - NPG Ax2243

J.B. Priestley

by Howard Coster
toned bromide print on flock paper, 1926
NPG Ax2243

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Jane Liddell-King

22 July 2020, 20:17

He photographed L. Susan Stebbing who was educated at Girton College and became the first woman to hold a Chair in Philosophy in Britain. She wa also the first woman president of the Humanists in the UK.