Friday, January 29, 2016

Phyllis Nicklin's photographs of Birmingham

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will know the weakness I have for photographs of buildings and street scenes from the mid 20th century.

So the work of Phyllis Nicklin was bound to appeal to me.

She was the staff tutor in Geography in the University of Birmingham's former Department of Extra Mural Studies in the 1950s and 1960s.

She died in post in 1969, leaving behind thousands of slides she had taken for her classes.

The video above, made for a recent exhibition in Birmingham, celebrates her work.


asquith said...

Indeed, have you seen the Back to Backs in Birmingham? (Complete with an excellent old-time sweet shop next door).

My girlfriend lives a stone's throw from there, and we were amazed to see photographs of how it looked as recently as 2003, when the flats weren't there and such prime city-centre land was derelict. (she moved there in 2009 and neither of us had ever been there before that). You could get an excellent before-and-after photoshoot. And I'm sure I will get some pictures in when I go to Chinese New Year, next week.

I've had many a time in Birmingham, and I first heard of Phyllis Nicklin when we were walking from the museum to the excellent Catholic Cathedral, and an open-air exhibition of her work was randomly there. All the naysayers are slagging the city off, but they haven't done what I've done there.

Jonathan Calder said...

No, I've not seen them, but will try to one day.

I spent a year working in Birmingham when I left university and have always had a soft spot for the place. The people are great.