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Edith Tudor-Hart

  • Given name:
    Edith
  • Last name:
    Tudor-Hart
  • Alternative names:

    Edith Suschitzky

  • Date of Birth:
    28-08-1908
  • Place of Birth:
    Vienna (AT)
  • Date of Death:
    12-05-1973
  • Place of Death:
    Brighton (GB)
  • Profession:
    Photographer
  • Introduction:

    The Viennese photographer Edith Tudor-Hart emigrated to England in 1933 and made a name with her photographs focusing on questions of class, social exclusion and the lives of marginalised people.

    Word Count: 29

  • Signature Image:
    Edith Tudor-Hart took a series of photographs of the construction and opening of Lawn Road Flats in 1934 (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
  • Content:

    Edith Suschitzky was the daughter of the socialist Viennese bookseller Wilhelm Suschitzky and the sister of the photographer Wolf Suschitzky. She studied photography with Walter Peterhans (who was also the teacher of the émigré photographer Ellen Auerbach) at the Bauhaus Dessau from 1928. After marrying the doctor Alexander Tudor-Hart, she moved with him to England in 1933 for political reasons. Their son Tommy was born in 1936.
    Edith Tudor-Hart maintained a variety of connections in the émigré scene: from 1937, she shared a photographic studio in Hampstead with the South African photographer Vera Elkin (Forbes 2013, 67). She was acquainted with the sculptor Anna Mahler and the architect Ernö Goldfinger, and maintained friendly relations with the photographer Lucia Moholy. Edith Tudor-Hart belonged to the social circle around the emigrated journalist Stefan Lorant, for whose magazines Lilliput and Picture Post she worked. Tudor-Hart also photographed for The Listener from 1933. She had been put in touch with the newspaper by Jack Pritchard, the founder of the architecture and furniture company Isokon.

    Tudor-Hart was commissioned by Pritchard in the spring of 1934 to record the construction and opening of Lawn Road Flats, a modernist apartment block in Hampstead. Tudor-Hart’s photographs focus less on the modernist forms of the construction, but rather describe the teamwork involved in the building process, focusing on craftsmanship and labour-sharing. According to Jill Pearlman, Tudor-Hart used her connection with Pritchard in the context of her espionage activities for the Soviet Union and probably planted at least one resident Soviet spy in the building at all times. A boarding house with numerous residents and lively public traffic, as well as proximity to public transport, the building was ideal for spies who wanted to attract little attention (Pearlman 2013, 365–367).

    In the photographic oeuvre of Edith Tudor-Hart, gender-specific perspectives overlap with an enduring interest in social structures, mechanisms of social exclusion and the lives of marginalised people, the socially deprived and working-class families. At the same time, her socially critical observations were closely linked to urban spaces. As early as 1931, even before she emigrated to England, Tudor-Hart photographed the hustle and bustle at the Caledonian Market in London and published the report under the heading “Der Markt des nackten Elends” [“The marketplace of stark misery”] in the Social Democratic magazine Der Kuckuck. In her photographs she shows weary vendors sitting in front of the wares they have spread out on the ground waiting for equally downtrodden buyers – a “trading place for the poorest among the poor”, a trading centre for the most wretched of the city’s inhabitants (Suschitzky 1931, 15; see also Holzer 2013, 43).
    Even after her emigration, Edith Tudor-Hart continued these photographic observations in urban neighbourhoods, paying special attention to the living conditions of children and women. Tudor-Hart’s photos taken in the backyards of Gee Street in Finsbury/London are devoted to the precarious life of children, young adults and mothers. The series shows how natural the interaction of the photographer with her subjects was and how those she photographed allowed her to get close to them. Edith Tudor-Hart photographed with a medium format camera, a Rolleiflex, looking through the viewfinder from above; this made it easier for her to maintain direct contact with her subjects.

    Tudor-Hart published her photographs in various contexts: A photo in the Gee Street series appeared in Wal Hannington’s book The Problem of the Distressed Areas, which was published in 1937 in a Left Book Club Edition by the publisher Victor Gollancz. The book devoted itself to the issues of the poor, underprivileged and unemployed more visible by directing attention to housing conditions, slums and impending political radicalisation. The same photograph from the backyards of Gee Street was published in the magazine Lilliput along with another photo by Tudor-Hart that shows a dog grooming salon where a bulldog is being groomed by two women. As paired images, the two photographs show the heedless vanities of one privileged lifestyle that existed side by side with abject poverty in the city.

    Tudor-Hart’s special interest in gender-specific themes is reflected in her contributions to the book Working-Class Wives. Their Health and Conditions by the British social reformer Margery Spring Rice, which was distributed in 1939 as a bargain-priced Pelican Books paperback by Penguin Press, making it accessible to a wide readership. Spring Rice’s publication was based on a survey of 1,200 working-class women that looked at their state of health and government relief measures, which the book concluded to be unsatisfactory and in need of improvement. Tudor-Hart’s photographs of everyday situations emphasise the women’s individuality – especially in her close-up portraits – and the warmth and affection she found. At the same time, she does not shy away from what is wrong; rather, her photographs attribute autonomy and agency to the women and mothers in spite of (or precisely because of) their harsh living conditions.
    In the 1950s, Tudor-Hart retired from photography and ran an antique shop in Brighton. After her death in 1973, her brother Wolf Suschitzky, who had also emigrated to London, took charge. of her negatives and endeavoured to ensure the survival of her photographic work.

    Word Count: 841

  • Media:
    Edith Tudor-Hart, Lawn Road Flats’ Christmas card, 1934, cover (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    Edith Tudor-Hart, Lawn Road Flats’ Christmas card, 1934, inside (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    Edith Tudor-Hart, Gee Street, Finsbury, London, c. 1936, in Wal Hannington’s The Problem of the Distressed Areas, Left Book Club Edition, 1937, pl. 23 (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    Lilliput, vol. 4, 1939, p. 426: “Should we have this? A beauty parlour for dogs”, photo: Edith Tudor-Hart, c. 1937 and p. 427: “Must we have this? A London slum”, photo: Edith Tudor-Hart, c. 1936 (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    Margery Spring Rice. Working-Class Wives. Their Health and Conditions. Penguin Press, 1939, cover with photograph by Edith Tudor-Hart (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    Margery Spring Rice. Working-Class Wives. Their Health and Conditions. Penguin Press, 1939, pl. 2–4: photographs by Edith Tudor-Hart (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Forbes, Duncan. “Politics, Photography and Exile in the Life of Edith Tudor-Hart (1908–1973).” Arts in Exile in Britain 1933–1945. Politics and Cultural Identity (The Yearbook of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies, 6 (2004)), edited by Shulamith Behr and Marian Malet, Rodopi, 2005, pp. 45–87.

    Forbes, Duncan. “Edith Tudor-Hart in London.” Edith Tudor-Hart. Im Schatten der Diktaturen, edited by Duncan Forbes, exh. cat. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2013, pp. 65–74.

    Jungk, Peter Stephan. Die Dunkelkammern der Edith Tudor-Hart. Geschichten eines Lebens. S. Fischer, 2015.

    McGrath, Roberta. “Pass Nummer 656336.” Edith Tudor-Hart. Im Schatten der Diktaturen, edited by Duncan Forbes, exh. cat. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2013, pp. 119–125.

    Pearlman, Jill. “The Spies Who Came into the Modernist Fold: The Covert Life in Hampstead’s Lawn Road Flats.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 72, no. 3, September 2003, pp. 358–381. University of California Press, doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2013.72.3.358. Accessed 11 April 2021.  

    Suschitzky, Wolf. “Edith Tudor Hart.” Edith Tudor Hart. Das Auge des Gewissens (Das Foto-Taschenbuch, 6). Dirk Nishen Verlag, 1986, pp. 8–26.

    Word Count: 160

  • Archives and Sources:

    Edith Tudor-Hart collection at the National Galleries Scotland, Edinburgh.

    Word Count: 9

  • Acknowledgements:

    My deepest thanks go to Bridget Gillies (University of East Anglia Archive) for supporting me with images from the Pritchard Papers and to Peter Suschitzky who gave me permission to reproduce the works of Edith Tudor-Hart.

    Word Count: 36

  • Author:
    Burcu Dogramaci
  • Exile:

    GB (1933–1973).

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    158 Haverstock Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 (studio, 1937–?).

  • Metropolis:
    London
  • Burcu Dogramaci. "Edith Tudor-Hart." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/1470/object/5138-7554743, last modified: 20-06-2021.
  • Anna Freud
    Psychoanalyst

    The psychoanalyst Anna Freud and her partner Dorothy Burlingham-Tiffany opened the War Nursery research and care facility in Hampstead in January 1941 under the impact of the bombing of London.

    Word Count: 29

    Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham, Jackson Nursery, Vienna, 1937 (© Freud Museum London).
    Dorothy Burlingham and Anna Freud. Annual Report of a Residential War Nursery. Hampstead Nursery, 1942, title page (Photo: Private Archive).Dorothy Burlingham and Anna Freud. Annual Report of a Residential War Nursery. Hampstead Nursery, 1942 (Photo: Private Archive). Page with addresses of Hampstead Nursery.Dorothy Burlingham and Anna Freud. Kriegskinder. Jahresbericht des Kriegskinderheims Hampstead Nurseries. Imago Publishing, 1949, cover (Photo: Private Archive). German version of Annual Report of a Residential War Nursery from 1942.Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham, Cork, 1949 (© Freud Museum London).Dorothy Burlingham and Anna Freud. Anstaltskinder. Imago Publishing, 1950, title page (Photo: Private Archive). German version of Infants without Families, 1943.Installation view from the Freud Museum London: Anna Freud at her loom, Walberswick, Suffolk, c. 1960s, Weaving Shuttles of Anna Freud, Crocheted scarf made by Anna Freud (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2018. Courtesy of the Freud Museum London).Freud House at Maresfield Gardens (Photo: Burcu Dogramaci, 2018).
    London
    Wolf Suschitzky
    PhotographerCinematographer

    The Viennese Wolf Suschitzky made a career as a photographer and cinematographer after emigrating to London in 1935.

    Word Count: 17

    Animal and Zoo Magazine, vol. 3, no. 6, 1938, cover photograph by Wolf Suschitzky (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    Animal and Zoo Magazine, vol. 3, no. 6, 1938, p. 29 with photographs by Wolf Suschitzky (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Animal and Zoo Magazine, vol. 3, no. 6, 1938, p. 30 with photographs by Wolf Suschitzky (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Animal and Zoo Magazine, vol. 3, no. 2, 1938, pp. 14–15 with photographs by Wolf Suschitzky (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Wolf Suschitzky (photographs) and Julian Huxley (text). Kingdom of the Beasts. Thames and Hudson, 1956, pp. 84–85 (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Wolf Suschitzky. Photographing Animals. The Studio, 1941, cover (© Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Wolf Suschitzky. Photographing Animals. The Studio, 1941, p. 21 (© Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Wolf Suschitzky. Photographing Children. The Studio, 1940, cover (© Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Wolf Suschitzky. Photographing Children. The Studio, 1940, p. 53 (© Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Lilliput, vol. 6, 1940, p. 311: “London Snowstorm”, photo: Wolf Suschitzky (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).
    London
    My Life, My Stage
    Book

    My Life, My Stage is the autobiography of costume and set designer Ernest Stern, looking back on his career with director Max Reinhardt, his escape to London and his internment.

    Word Count: 30

    Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, cover (METROMOD Archive).
    Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, title page (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 18: Munich (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 71: Rehearsal on revolving stage (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 160: “The Green Flute.” Ballet Costumes (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 183: Film, “Pharaoh’s Wife” (1921). Egyptians at tank with brown make-up (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 232: Illustration Paris and chapter “End of an Epoch” (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 264: Costumes, “The Merry Widow” (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 281: York internees camp, 1940 (METROMOD Archive).Ernest Stern. My Life, My Stage. Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1951, p. 293: London 1944. Bombed Out! (METROMOD Archive).
    London
    Lilliput
    Magazine

    The magazine Lilliput, founded by the émigré journalist Stefan Lorant in 1937, gave work to emigrated artists and photographers such as Kurt Hutton, Walter Suschitzky, Walter Trier and Edith Tudor-Hart.

    Word Count: 29

    Lilliput, vol. 6, no. 2, 1940, cover by Walter Trier (METROMOD Archive).
    Lilliput, vol. 3, 1938, p. 10: “The Beautiful Llama”, Spohr, Cape Town and p. 11: “Mr. Neville Chamberlain”, photo: “, photo: Wide World, London (Photo: Private Archive).Lilliput, vol. 3, 1938, p. 223: “The Ruler of Germany”, photo: Keystone, London and p. 224: “The Terror of the Zoo”, photo: A. P., London (Photo: Private Archive).Lilliput, vol. 5, no. 4, 1939, cover by Walter Trier (METROMOD Archive).Lilliput, vol. 5, no. 4, 1939, contents for October (METROMOD Archive).Lilliput, vol. 5, no. 4, 1939, p. 322: “We shall conquer the world: German Propaganda Minister, Dr. Goebbels”, photo: Schall, Paris and p. 323: “Goodness! I’m all of a-tremble. Sea-lion in the Zoo”, photo: Keystone, London (METROMOD Archive).Lilliput, vol. 5, no. 4, 1939, p. 332: drawing by Walter Trier and p. 333: “Sea Spray” by T. Thompson (METROMOD Archive).Lilliput, vol. 5, no. 4, 1939, p. 411: “Fate in Five Words” by Alfred Polgar (METROMOD Archive). A short story on the homelessness of émigrés.Lilliput, vol. 6, no. 2, 1940, p. 148: “The Beauty of the snow: The painter who tries to capture it”, photo: Dulovits, Budapest and p. 149: “Three Stories” by Ferenc Molnar (METROMOD Archive).Lilliput, vol. 4, 1939, p. 426: “Should we have this? A beauty parlour for dogs”, photo: Edith Tudor-Hart, c. 1937 and p. 427: “Must we have this? A London slum”, photo: Edith Tudor-Hart, c. 1936 (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Lilliput, vol. 6, 1940, p. 311: “London Snowstorm”, photo: Wolf Suschitzky (© The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Advertisement for Lilliput in the first issue of Picture Post, vol. 1, 1938, p. 2 (Photo: Private Archive). Both magazines were founded by Stefan Lorant.Essay on Lilliput in the first issue of Picture Post, vol. 1, 1938, p. 73 (Photo: Private Archive).Advertisement for Lilliput in Picture Post, vol. 3, 1939, p. 2: overview on Walter Trier’s covers (Photo: Private Archive).
    London
    Isokon Company
    Architecture and Furniture Company

    The furniture design and architecture company Isokon was an important commissioner for emigrants such as Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius, László Moholy-Nagy, Ernst Riess and Edith Tudor-Hart.

    Word Count: 27

    Egon Riess, Isokon Penguin Donkey, 1939 (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia).
    Edith Tudor-Hart took a series of photographs of the construction and opening of Lawn Road Flats in 1934 (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).Edith Tudor-Hart, Lawn Road Flats’ Christmas card, 1934, cover (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky).The Isobar, photo: Dell & Wainwright, c. 1937 (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia). Bar with designs by Marcel Breuer.Edith Tudor-Hart, Terrace of the Isobar overlooking the Isobar garden, c. 1930s (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © The Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky). Isokon Long Chairs designed by Marcel Breuer.László Moholy-Nagy, Cover of sales leaflet for Marcel Breuer’s Isokon Long Chair, 1937 (Pritchard Papers, University of East Anglia, © László Moholy-Nagy).
    London
    Aid to Russia
    Exhibition

    The Aid to Russia exhibition was organised in 1942 by the emigré architect Ernö Goldfinger and his wife, the painter Ursula Goldfinger, at their house in Hampstead.

    Word Count: 26

    Aid to Russia exhibition at 2 Willow Road, 1942, with Pablo Picasso’s La Niçoise, 1937 – today known as the portrait of Nusch Eluard. On the right: Nancy Cunard (Archive 2 Willow Road, National Trust Collections. With kind permission of the Goldfinger Family. © Ernö Goldfinger).
    Goldfinger House, 2 Willow Road, London Hampstead, site of the Aid for Russia exhibition, 1942 (Photo: Mareike Hetschold/Sonja Hull, 2017).Ernö Goldfinger, 2 Willow Road, Hampstead, 1939, interior, dining room, photo: Dell & Wainwright (Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections, RIBA8557). The flexible floor plan by means of mobile walls allowed variable use of space for social occasions but also for exhibitions such as Aid to Russia in 1942.Catalogue of the Aid to Russia exhibition, 1942 (Archive 2 Willow Road, National Trust Collections. With kind permission of the Goldfinger Family. © Ernö Goldfinger).Aid to Russia exhibition in 2 Willow Road, 1942, Opening (Archive 2 Willow Road, National Trust Collections. With kind permission of the Goldfinger Family. © Ernö Goldfinger).
    London
    Ellen Auerbach
    Photographer

    When she arrived in New York in 1937, the German-born photographer Ellen Auerbach (formerly Rosenberg) had already passed through exile stations in Palestine and Great Britain.

    Word Count: 25

    Ellen Auerbach, Selbstportrait, cropped detail (Ellen Auerbach auf einer Liege sitzend, sich selbst im Spiegel fotografierend), New York 1950 (©Akademie der Künste, Berlin / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021).
    Ellen Auerbach, Selbstportrait. (Ellen Auerbach auf einer Liege sitzend, sich selbst im Spiegel fotografierend), New York 1950 (©Akademie der Künste, Berlin / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021).Cover of Life magazine, with image Two Years Old by Ellen Auerbach, Life, 28 November 1938 (Photo: Helene Roth).The dancer Renate Schottelius photographed by Ellen Auerbach ( "Ellen Auerbach - Robert Mann Gallery" by Erika_Herzog is licensed under CC BY 2.0).
    New York
    A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939
    Book

    Six years after her arrival in London, the photographer Lucia Moholy published her book A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939, on the occasion of the centenary of photography.

    Word Count: 27

    Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, cover (METROMOD Archive).
    Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, bastard title with Daumier’s quote “Je suis de mon temps” (METROMOD Archive).Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, title page (METROMOD Archive).Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, page with daguerreotypes (METROMOD Archive).Lucia Moholy. A Hundred Years of Photography 1839–1939. Penguin Books, 1939, page with a multiple flash photograph of the golfer Bobby Jones with a driver (METROMOD Archive).
    London