1 of 3

Two gentlemen on Oxford Street, London 1929

Oxford Street, London 1929


During the 1930s Hoppé increasingly went out in the streets looking for people to photograph. The results were often published in photo-stories featured in picture-led magazines, such as Weekly Illustrated. Fascinated by Britain’s growing cultural diversity, he travelled throughout London and beyond, photographing people of different ethnic origins and in a variety of occupations.

In the East End of London he befriended a Chinese shopkeeper named Wu Kang, who helped him gain access to local bars and restaurants. Nevertheless, he sometimes found it necessary to use a hidden camera – typically a Kodak Brownie wrapped in brown paper with a small hole cut for the lens. This enabled him to photograph British daily life with remarkable spontaneity, whether on public transit or inside the local pub.

“Like a well-cut gem London has a thousand facets and in all of them is a picture”

E.O. Hoppé

The Image of London

Related Collections