So wonderful to be contacted by the Museum of London this afternoon regarding this totally fascinating photography exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and work of Christina Broom. Widely considered to be the UK’s first female press photographer, Broom began her photographic career in 1903 at the age of 40.
Soldiers and Suffragettes: The Photography of Christina Broom will include a cross section of her work, including Suffragette processions, First World War soldiers, official photographs of the Household Division and key London events, from the Lord Mayor’s Parade and royal coronations and funerals to historical pageants. These photographs will be joined by original glass plate negatives, and objects which build a fuller picture of Broom’s character and her career, including personal possessions, a suffragette banner, letters, press passes, notebooks and a cuttings album.
Broom was compelled to work, turning to the photography trade after her husband, Albert Broom, was injured in a cricket accident and she became the breadwinner. Although she had other female photographer contemporaries, they were mainly confined to the studio she was the first to take to the streets to photograph newsworthy events, from her home in Fulham. Broom continued to be active over thirty-six years until her death in 1939, during which she made approximately 40,000 photographs largely selling these as postcards from her stall at the gates of the Royal Mews in London, an enterprise her daughter Winifred Broom was also part of, helping to print the photographs from the age of 14.