Online Talk: From the Courts of Siam to the Streets of London - The Remarkable Career of John Thomson

old time photograph of one man on a horse and buggy and another man standing in the street


Speaker: Dr Stephen Murphy, SOASJohn Thomson, a prominent Victorian photographer, showcased his artistic prowess through captivating images in both Siam (now Thailand) and London. In the late 19th century, Thomson embarked on an extensive photographic journey to Siam, capturing the essence of its diverse culture, landscapes, and people. His lens immortalized the royal court, bustling markets, and serene landscapes, offering a rare glimpse into Siam's rich tapestry.

Upon his return to London, Thomson continued to leave an indelible mark on the world of photography. Renowned for his social documentary work, he chronicled the lives of the urban poor in London, exposing the stark realities of Victorian society. Thomson's images served as powerful visual narratives, highlighting the stark contrasts between opulence and poverty in the heart of the British capital. Through his lens, Thomson not only documented two distinct worlds but also revealed the universal themes of human experience that resonate across time and borders. Visit our current exhibition Siam: Through the Lens of John Thomson to explore his photographs taken in Siam.

Find out more about John Thomson's life and career with this online talk.

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Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
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Find out more about John Thomson's life and career with this online talk.

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