Edith Tudor-Hart

Funeral Parlour, London (Photographed about 1935)

About this artwork

The 1930s witnessed a great expansion in commercial advertising in which photography proved to be an increasingly effective mechanism. Tudor-Hart produced some commercial images – in particular for the progressive toy manufacturer Abbatt Toys – although it remained a minor aspect of her work. However, like other modernist photographers of the era, she also frequently photographed signs and advertisements in the urban environment, everyday statements whose meaning might be subverted. Framed by the lens, the absurdity of this particular sales pitch is made explicit. In 1930s Britain even death becomes a commodity, its rituals regulated by price.

Edith Tudor-Hart

Edith Tudor-Hart

Edith Tudor-Hart, née Suschitzky, was one of the most significant documentary photographers working in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s. Born in Vienna, she grew up in radical Jewish circles. Edith married Alex Tudor-Hart, a British doctor, and the pair moved to England. There she worked as a documentary photographer, closely associated with the Communist Party, compiling a remarkable archive of images of working people in London and later, the south of Wales. Although still active in the 1950s, the difficulties of finding work as a woman photographer led eventually to Tudor-Hart abandoning photography altogether.