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In the Face of History

European Photographers in the 20th Century

Bringing together the work of many of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century, ‘In The Face of History’, whose works collectively map out a century of European experience.

One of the first major exhibitions to chart 20th Century European photography, In the Face of History featured classic photographers such as Eugène Atget, Josef Sudek and Brassaï , alongside contemporary artists such as Boris Mikhailov, Jitka Hanzlová and Wolfgang Tillmans. 

All of the photographers were distinguished by a closeness to their subject matter, sometimes depicting these subjects during times of great conflict, sometimes depicting subtler currents of social and cultural change.

In the Face of History contained many powerful works, images which offered a unique perspective on a century, as seen through the eyes of some of Europe’s greatest photographers.

Tagged with: Art Gallery Archive

Curated by the Barbican


Emmy Andriesse, Eugène Atget, Brassaï, Robert Doisneau, Ed van der Elsken, Seiichi Furuya, Jitka Hanzlová, Craigie Horsfield, Sune Jonsson, André Kertész, Chris Killip, Viktor Kolar, Boris Mikhailov, Anders Petersen, Henryk Ross, Inta Ruka, Michael Schmidt, Annelies Štrba, Christer Strömholm, Josef Sudek, Wolfgang Tillmans, S. I. Witkiewicz


‘This accumulation of individual observations produces a very intense and intensely satisfying experience‘
Time Out London
‘It offers a cornucopia of pictures from which to pick the one that you have never seen and will never forget.‘
The Financial Times
‘Absorbing, stylishly laid out exhibition ‘
The Spectator