• Date and time: Sunday 20 June 2021, 12pm to 1pm
  • Location: Online
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

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Event details

Explore some incredible photography through the archive of York-based writer, curator and poet Robert Powell.

In 2019, Robert donated his collection of papers, photography books, and posters to the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York. It includes some rare materials relating to Martin Parr and many other photographers and artists.

The collection traces Robert’s career in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s as a photography critic for national photography magazines and curator of exhibitions in both national and independent venues.

Robert reviewed exhibitions across the North of England including important early shows at Impressions Gallery in York, The Side in Newcastle, and the then-new National Museum of Photography and TV in Bradford.

Discover how many of the exhibitions Robert reviewed and curated were part of an independent photography movement which helped enlarge the ways in which people looked at themselves, their urban and rural environments, and at the medium of photography itself.

Join Robert Powell and James Boaden of the University of York’s Department of History of Art and find out more about the Robert Powell Collection.


This is a YouTube Premiere event. You’ll be sent a link to the screening a couple of days before it takes place, as well as a reminder an hour before. You can ask the speakers your questions live in the YouTube chat throughout the stream.

Image credit: Robert Powell. Photo by Owen Powell

About the speakers

Dr James Boaden is a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of York where he teaches the history of photography at MA level. In 2016 he worked with Paul Rousseau and Jonathan Law to make a series of films about the photographer John Deakin for the Paul Mellon Centre. James has published essays in journals including Oxford Art Journal, Art History, Tate Papers. He has organised film screenings at BFI Bankside, Tate Modern, Nottingham Contemporary, and The Hepworth Wakefield.

Robert Powell is a writer, curator, and poet with over 40 years’ experience in the arts, media, and built environment. He has written extensively about photography and society, curated a wide range of exhibitions, and edited books about the arts in place-making. His creative writing has been published widely in Canada and the UK. He has produced four poetry collections (2007-18), and co-produced an exhibition and artist's book and two film-poems (2016-18). He was artist in residence at Saari, Finland, with the Kone Foundation in 2018.


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