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Retrospective of photographer Edwin Smith opens at the RIBA

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A retrospective of the works of photographer Edwin Smith has opened at the RIBA’s Architecture Gallery featuring more than 100 photographs

Smith (1912-1971) was one of Britain’s most prominent architectural and landscape photographers of the 20th century and was praised by Cecil Beaton for being ‘an understanding and loving connoisseur of his subject’.

The exhibition, entitled Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith, brings together more than 100 black and white photographs from a collection encompassing more than 60,000 negatives and 20,000 prints given by Smith’s widow and collaborator Olive Cook to the RIBA library.

St Columba's Wells, Londonderry (Derry) N Ireland (1965) Edwin Smith. Image: RIBA Library Photographs Collection

St Columba’s Wells, Londonderry (Derry) N Ireland (1965) Edwin Smith. Image: RIBA Library Photographs Collection

While many of the photographs on display depict British urban scenes or natural settings, some were taken on Smith’s travels abroad and others come from book commissions, such as a series of illustrated guides for publisher Thames & Hudson.

The exhibition will be open until 6 December 2014.


Ordinary Beauty: The Photography of Edwin Smith
Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1
Until 6 December 2014

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