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Dorothy Bohm at 100 - A Life in Photography

Dorothy Bohm at 100 - A Life in Photography

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Exploring the work of one of the most prolific, versatile and admired female photographers of the 20th century, Dorothy Bohm at 100 takes a fresh look at the photographer’s 75-year-long career, showing a selection of her most iconic images alongside many previously unpublished works.

Born in 1924 into a Jewish family in East Prussia, Dorothy Bohm was sent to the safety of England in 1939. Her experience of war and dislocation deeply influenced her photographic approach, one that displays a fascination with people from all walks of life, particularly women and children. After training in studio portraiture in 1940s Manchester, Bohm travelled extensively in the post-war period, establishing herself as a leading humanist street photographer. The mid-1980s saw a shift as Bohm started working exclusively in colour, infusing her images with texture and spatial ambiguity, evoking the human presence in increasingly abstract, complex and allusive forms.

This new volume, published to mark the centenary of Bohm’s birth, showcases the diversity of her work and her profound empathy for the human condition. It contains texts by Monica Bohm-Duchen, Martin Barnes and Rachel Wallace with additional contributions from Maria Balshaw, Katy Barron, Colin Ford CBE, Anna Fox, Lydia Goldblatt, Mark Haworth-Booth, Amanda Hopkinson, Ian Jeffrey, Esther Leslie, Markéta Luskačová, Don McCullin, Pelumi Odubanjo, Martin Parr, Nissan N. Perez, Marissa Roth, Paul Smith, George Szirtes, Rachel Wallace, Marina Warner and Val Williams.



Dorothy Bohm (née Dorothea Israelit) was born on 22 June 1924 in Königsberg, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia). In 1932 the family settled in Memel (now Klaipeda, Lithuania) to escape the rising threat of Nazism. In June 1939, her parents sent her to the safety of England, which would remain her home thereafter.

In 1940, Dorothy enrolled on a vocational photography course at Manchester College of Technology, and between 1942 and 1945 worked as an assistant at a leading portrait studio in that city. Following her marriage to fellow refugee Louis Bohm in late 1945, she established her own portrait studio – Studio Alexander – in central Manchester.

Bohm’s first solo exhibition took place at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 1969. In 1971 she was closely involved with the founding in Covent Garden of the pioneering Photographers’ Gallery and served as its Associate Director for the next fifteen years.

Bohm’s work has been exhibited widely and is held in a number of public collections in the UK, including Tate, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Museum of London and the National Portrait Gallery. A major retrospective was held at Manchester Art Gallery in 2010, and further exhibitions and publications have followed, consolidating her reputation as one of the doyennes of British photography. She was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 2009.

Dorothy died on 15 March 2023, aged ninety-eight, closely engaged with her photography to the end.


Title: Dorothy Bohm at 100 - A Life in Photography
Publisher: Beameditions, 2024
Photographer: Dorothy Bohm
Authors: Texts by Monica Bohm-Duchen, Martin Barnes, Rachel Wallace and contributions by many others

Editors: Monica Bohm-Duchen, Jonathan Casciani & Aaron Juneau
Graphic Design: Oliver Wood
Format: Thread-sewn hardcover
Size: 24 x 30 cm, 240 pages
ISBN: 9781738557417

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