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Barbara Ker-Seymer

(1905-1993), Photographer

Sitter in 1 portrait
Artist associated with 9 portraits
'It seemed to me that 'Bar' always stood outside the events of her life and observed things with marvellous wit and sympathy and perception, and sometimes just a touch of very enjoyable malice', wrote Humphrey Spender. She brought an unaffected playfulness to photography, rejecting retouching and soft focus, placed an emphasis on backgrounds that included leather, tiger skins and corrugated cardboard. Her portraits of figures such as Nancy Cunard, Edward Burra, Jean Cocteau and Gertrude Stein are some of the most economical and memorable of the era. At the outbreak of war Ker-Seymer joined a film unit making instructional films for the armed services, then abandoned photography and focused on raising her son. In 1951, inspired by a trip to New York, she opened one of London’s first laundrettes.

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Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer, and by  John Banting - NPG x13131

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer, and by John Banting
bromide print on red card mount, 1930s
NPG x13131

Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer, and by  John Banting - NPG x13130

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer, and by John Banting
bromide print on red card mount, 1930s
NPG x13130

Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer - NPG x13129

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer
bromide print on blue tissue and card mount, 1930s
NPG x13129

Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer - NPG x13134

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer
bromide print on blue tissue and card mount, 1930s
NPG x13134

Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer - NPG x13133

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer
bromide print on green tissue and card mount, 1930s
NPG x13133

Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer, and by  John Banting - NPG x38539

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer, and by John Banting
bromide print, 1930s
NPG x38539

Alix Strachey, by Barbara Ker-Seymer - NPG x13132

Alix Strachey

by Barbara Ker-Seymer
bromide print on green tissue and card mount, 1930s
NPG x13132

Godfrey Herbert Winn, by Barbara Ker-Seymer - NPG x137302

Godfrey Herbert Winn

by Barbara Ker-Seymer
vintage print, mid 1930s
NPG x137302

Godfrey Herbert Winn, by Barbara Ker-Seymer - NPG x137303

Godfrey Herbert Winn

by Barbara Ker-Seymer
vintage print, mid 1930s
NPG x137303

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