25/09/2018
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Previously-unseen Edinburgh images take centre stage in Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh Street Photography

d8cbddf1-6622-4418-82ab-a70cd9a128c8

Edinburgh's City Art Centre is showcasing an exhibition of vintage street photography by Robert Blomfield, revealing part of a remarkable private archive of his work.

Blomfield practised street photography across the UK from the 1950s to the 1970s, beginning in Edinburgh. He moved to the city to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1956, when he was 18 years old.

Whilst a student, Blomfield pursued his passion for photography and spent his free time capturing life on the streets. He adopted an unobtrusive 'fly-on-the-wall' approach, seeking interesting or amusing scenes in the rapidly changing post-war period. An engaging manner and healthy disrespect for authority allowed him to get close to a myriad of subjects. 

      YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY: Edinburgh then and now photo archive

Blomfield used a pair of Nikon F SLRs to shoot his images, and did his own developing and printing in a makeshift darkroom set up in his student digs.

A subsequent medical career meant his vast collection of striking images - which number in the thousands and carry echoes of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier - remained largely hidden, stored away in cardboard boxes.

In 1999, a stroke forced him to retire from medicine and put down his camera, and ten years ago, his wife Jane started the huge task of cataloguing and digitising these photographs. After her passing Blomfield’s three sons William, Edward and George, along with his brother Johnny, continued the project.

Robert Blomfield said: 'After 50 years I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my pictures with the wider world. Edinburgh is a city that remains close to my heart, and the interaction of its residents with this most dramatic of urban stages provided me with endless inspiration as a young photographer. The exhibition represents a personal view of life on its streets during the 1960s.’

Exhibition details

The exhibition runs from 24 November 2018 to 17 March 2019 at City Art Centre, Edinburgh. Entry is free.

EXTRA READ: Ten castles in and around Edinburgh

Back to "Events & Exhibitions" Category

25/09/2018 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

James Stewart Earl of Moray was assassinated - On this day in history

James Stewart, Earl of Moray, regent for James VI, was assassinated by a firearm on 23 January 1570. ...


Margaret of Denmark: an enigmatic queen - exclusive free read from History Scotland

Dr Amy Hayes explores the life of Margaret of Denmark, wife of James III, mother of James IV and possibly the ...


Scottish MP Joseph Hume was born - On this day in history

Scottish MP Joseph Hume, who founded the memorial to the Scottish Political Martyrs in Edinburgh, was born on ...


Scottish theologian George Gillespie was born - On this day in history

Church leader George Gillespie was born on 21 January 1613 in Kirkcaldy.


Other Articles

Inventor and engineer James Watt was born - On this day in history

James Watt, inventor of the condensor, which helped make the Industrial Revolution possible, was born on 19 ...


Sir John Pringle died - On this day in Scottish history

Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society and physician to King George III, died on 18 January 1782. ...


The Duddingston Curling Society was founded - On this day in history

On 17 January 1795, the Duddingston Curling Society became the first formally organised curling club in the ...


Restored Mary Queen of Scots statue to take pride of place in Linlithgow in time for Month of MQS

A much-loved statue of Mary Queen of Scots has been restored and will be on display at Linlithgow Museum, as ...