Biography & Life in Manchester
Dorothy Bohm was born in Königsberg East Prussia in 1924 emigrating to England in 1939. Currently living in London, Dorothy is widely acknowledged as one of the doyennes of British photography. Dorothy began her career as a student in Manchester, studying photography at the Manchester College of Technology, graduating with this qualification as well as obtaining a City & Guilds Final Certificate in Photography. Following her graduation Dorothy worked at Samuel Cooper photography studio for four years before leaving to set up her own portrait studio, Studio Alexander. This time in Manchester is the focal point of my research.
From 1947 onwards Dorothy travelled frequently, visiting countries such as Switzerland, France and America, continuing to work in black and white but newly experimenting with street photography. Dorothy’s first exhibition came in 1969, where she exhibited with Don McCullin, Tony-Ray Jones and Enzo Ragazzini at the Institute of Contemporary Arts London; the exhibition was titled Four Photographers in Contrast. In 1970 the first book of Dorothy’s work was published, titled A World Observed, with a foreword by Roland Penrose. The following year Dorothy co-founded The Photographers Gallery in London and continued as its Associate Director for the next 15 years. Since the seventies Dorothy has continued to exhibit and travel widely and in 1985 began to work exclusively in colour.
You’ll be able to see the full range of Dorothy’s photographic work in Manchester Art Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition A World Observed 1940 – 2010. You can also find more information on Dorothy’s website.
Life in Manchester
To see my research into Dorothy’s education in Manchester, click here.
In 2007 Dorothy penned her “Manchester Memoir”. As my research is focused upon Dorothy’s time spent in Manchester, this text is a most valuable resource, giving Dorothy’s truly wonderful view of this time. Click here to read the complete memoir.
In addition to this text written by Dorothy I have also found a really lovely (and extensive!) interview that Dorothy gave to Mark Haworth Booth in 1995 as part of the “Oral History of British Photography” series, the archival recording of which is owned by the British Library. If you are a member of a Higher Education Institution (or know someone who is and have their password!) you can have a listen, the Manchester section is part 3 out of 9.