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Photographing Children

Basque Refugee Children, North Stoneham Camp, Hampshire, Owen Logan, Edith Tudor-Hart, 1937 − ¬© Photograph by Edith Tudor-Hart

In Britain, Tudor-Hart specialised in the photography of children, drawing on her experiences as a Montessori teacher and a network of contacts first established in Vienna. Naturalistic and lively, her imagery broke the mould of the more static studio portrait. She photographed families with their children, documented issues of child welfare, medicine and education, and attempted to record the disruption of children’s lives due to poverty and war. Her contacts included the Austrian educationalist, Karl König, and Anna Freud and Donald Winnicott, both innovators in the field of child psychoanalysis.

Music Lesson, Camphill School, Bieldside, Aberdeen, Edith Tudor-Hart, 1949 − ¬© Photograph by Edith Tudor-Hart

After the Second World War, politically exhausted and excluded from mainstream photojournalism, Tudor-Hart concentrated almost exclusively on children’s issues. Her images point to the significance of children and their environment during post-war reconstruction and the early years of the Welfare State. As she understood from her years in Vienna, children were the hope of a better future.