Face: shape and angle

Helen Muspratt, photographer

By Jessica Sutcliffe

Face: shape and angle

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0084-9
  • Pages: 168
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: January 2016
  • BIC Category: Photography & photographs, Individual photographers, Biography: arts & entertainment, BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY / Individual Photographers / General, PHOTOGRAPHY / Criticism, The arts / Individual photographers, Biography: Arts & Entertainment, The arts / Photography & photographs


Born into a civil service family in India in 1907, Helen Muspratt was a lifelong communist, a member of the Cambridge intellectual milieu of the 1930s, and a working mother at a time when such a role was unusual for women of her class. She was also a pioneering photographer, creating an extraordinary body of work in many different styles and genres. In partnership with Lettice Ramsey she made portraits of many notable figures of the 1930s in the fields of science and culture. Her experimental photography, using techniques such as solarisation and multiple exposure, bears comparison with the innovations of Man Ray and Lee Miller.

This book reproduces some of Helen Muspratt's most important photographic images, including documentary records of the Soviet Union and the Welsh valleys. The accompanying text by Jessica Sutcliffe is an intimate and revealing memoir of her mother that offers a fascinating insight into her life, work and politics.


'Jessica Sutcliffe's book, painstakingly researched and wonderfully written, will supply yet one more piece in the photo-historical jigsaw which is the history of women's photography.'
Val Williams, author of Women Photographers, The Other Observers



Winner of the CALH Annual Book Award 2017


Jessica Sutcliffe is an architect specialising in historic buildings. She is Helen Muspratt's daughter and the owner of her archive

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