Robert  Blomfield,Childhood  Friends,  Edinburgh,1966.©  the  artist

Must-see exhibitions this December

Check out our round-up of must-see exhibitions this December. From explorations of childhood to the role of women in photography we are ending the year with fantastic exhibitions.

must-see exhibitions this December
Portsmouth Square, Chinatown, San Francisco, April 1956, photographer Dorothy Bohm (c) Dorothy Bohm Archive

Little Happenings: Photographs of Children

Dorothy Bohm has been taking photographs for more than 70 years, ever since her father gave her a camera as she fled Nazi Germany as a child.

She has taken her camera with her ever since, photographing little happenings across the globe.

This display explores the universal qualities of childhood.

Despite her photography covering so many decades, cultures and countries, what connects us all through the experience of childhood shines through in Bohm’s intimate photographs.

Little Happenings: Photographs of Children by Dorothy Bohm, V&A Museum of Childhood, until March 17, 2019.

must-see exhibitions this December
Robert Blomfield, Girls Playing in Tyre, Edinburgh, 1966. © the artist

Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh Street Photography

There is still time to catch this exhibition of vintage street photography by Robert Blomfield, part of a remarkable private archive of his work.

The selection of around 60 black-and-white works reveal and document the dramatic shifts taking place in Edinburgh’s urban landscape during the 1960s.

It includes candid portraits and group shots, children playing among crumbling tenements, public gatherings, student life and evolving architecture.

The images offer a rare opportunity to reappraise our understanding of Scottish culture in the 1960s.

Staged in the year of his 80th birthday, this first large-scale display of his street-life scenes is a chance for Blomfield to receive the recognition he deserves.

Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh Street Photography | An Unseen ArchiveCity Art Centre, to March 17, 2019.

Manchu Ladies at Meal Table ©The Wellcome Library, London

China: Through the lens of John Thomson (1868-1872)

From 1868-1872, legendary photographer, John Thomson (1835 -1921) travelled extensively through China.

He produced an extraordinary record of the country, its landscapes and its people.

The beauty and sensitivity of his work established him as a pioneer of photo-journalism and one of the most influential photographers of his generation.

As a foreigner, Thomson’s ability to gain access to photograph women was particularly remarkable.

This exhibition is a chance to see iconic photographs of China reproduced on a large, sometimes life-size, scale.

Thomson’s images are accompanied by objects collected by Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes on their visit to China only a decade later.

China: Through the lens of John Thomson (1868-1872), Russell-Cotes, until June 2, 2019.

must-see exhibitions this December
USA. Nevada. US actress Marilyn Monroe on the Nevada desert going over her lines for a difficult scene she is about to play with Clarke Gable in the film The Misfits by John Huston, 1960. © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos

Women in Focus

The second part of this year-long exhibition exploring the role of women in photography opened on December 1.

Drawing on works from the permanent photographic collections at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales it explores the roles of women as both producers and subjects.

Part one ranged from the first pioneering women photographers in Wales to emerging contemporary practitioners.

Part two explores the way in which women have been represented as subjects in photography.

The work invites us to examine how photography has been used to misrepresent women through objectification and idealisation, an issue with particular currency in today’s climate.

A conference, Women in Focus: Documentary and Citizenship, will be held to support the exhibition on January 24 and 25, 2019.

Women in Focus: Part Two: Women in Front of the Lens, National Museum Cardiff, until  June 9, 2019.

Main image: Robert Blomfield,Childhood Friends, Edinburgh,1966.© the artist

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