Edward Barber (1949-2017)

Shot in six months during 1999, Edward Barber's In the City applied an uncompromising formal approach: 138 black and white portraits taken on a large format camera, each revealing immaculate detail, irrespective of status. 

Barber situated the unknown, unsung and often 'invisible' workers in London's Square Mile alongside the more customary corporate faces. It was the first major photographic documentary of the City since the Big Bang of 1986. 

In the City is one of the largest British portrait projects of the last twenty years - a limited edition book, published in 2000, preceded a six month solo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2001. 

Edward Barber specialised in portraiture. He was a visual anthropologist with a strong social conscience, drawn to subject matter that is often overlooked, hidden or difficult to access. An expert in his field he had over 40 years involvement in photography as a photographer, curator, editor, writer and lecturer.

In 2013, collaborating with Danielle Inga, Barber produced Resolve: An Intimate Survey of Work (Concrete Editions).


In the City

In the City. Rashida Begum, counter clerk Fore Street Post Office. © Edward Barber


Copyright 2020 The East End Archive at The CASS