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Shirley Baker


Shirley Baker developed her first photograph as a young girl ‘from the darkness of the coal shed’ in her hometown of Salford, Northwest England. From this moment, she developed a lifelong interest in documentary photography, amounting to a vast and celebrated archival collection that spans the length of her career, dating from the 1960s until 2000. Edited by Lou Stoppard, this book presents an extensive–and, uniquely, female–depiction of post-war life; an eccentric survey which combines her better-known street photographs of Manchester, Salford and Blackpool with previously unseen photographs that span the UK, South of France, all the way to Japan and America. Instances of humour abound in the collection, casting a spotlight on the idiosyncrasies of British identity: a dog sits on its sunbathing owner, a suited man sprawls out asleep on the grass, an old woman scowls at a troop of musicians. The changing landscapes, fashions, photographic styles and tones that make up the sequence are woven together by Baker’s singular attentiveness to moments of wit and warmth in daily life.

Shirley Baker (1932–2014) worked as a documentary photographer throughout her lifetime. Her first exhibition in 1986, Here Yesterday, and Gone Today took place at Salford Art Gallery. Exhibitions of her work have since shown in 2000 at The Lowry Centre, Salford, in 2015 at the Photographer’s Gallery, London, and in 2017 at Manchester Art Gallery. Baker’s daughter, Nan Levy, maintains the archive.


Shirley Baker

Lou Stoppard (ed.)

Published by MACK

Embossed hardcover

23 x 24 cm

€40 £35 $45

ISBN 978-1-912339-51-8

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