1 November 2013 – The Street Markets of London, Mary Benedetta and L.Moholy-Nagy

The Street Markets of London by Mary Benedetta was published in 1936. It’s a fascinating book about market life, but the real treat are the photographs, taken by L.Moholy-Nagy a  Hungarian painter and photographer, as well as professor in the Bauhaus school.

In the foreword to the book he says, ‘ To many peoples’ minds the street market still suggests romantic notions of showmen, unorganised trade, bargains and the sale of stolen goods. The photographic report can either encourage or correct these ideas. I consider the latter to be the more important task, since in my opinion these markets are primarily to be regarded as a social necessity, the shopping-centre, in fact, for a large part of the working-class. The subject is a vast one, comprising problems of history, sociology, economics and town planning…the method of studying a fragment of present-day reality from a social and economic point of view has a wide general appeal’.

I agree – for me, the traditional market is still a rewarding way of studying ‘a fragment of present-day reality’ from a social and economic point of view. 

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One Comment on “1 November 2013 – The Street Markets of London, Mary Benedetta and L.Moholy-Nagy”

  1. […] Mary Benedetta and the wonderful black and white photographs by L. Moholy-Nagy, published in 1936 (see this blog 1 November 2013). I have also pointed out the blog called Spitalfields life and this link has more black and white […]


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