John Pantlin was a photographer who worked extensively for the architectural press in the 1950s and 1960s, recording in his pin sharp, beautifully composed images the optimistic outlook of British architectural culture of the period.
This small display at the Geffrye Museum of the Home focusses on his domestic interiors, providing an opportunity to look more closely at British post-war design. Sun-filled living rooms, people lounging on terraces and bedrooms scattered with toys are common in Pantlin’s photographic language, as his work clearly aimed to promote not only a new type of architecture but also a new aspirational lifestyle. All the images are drawn from the Robert Elwall Photographs Collection, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of architectural photography worldwide and part of the RIBA British Architectural Library.
The Geffrye explores the home from 1600 to the present day, focusing on the living rooms of the urban middle classes in England, particularly London. A series of period rooms show how such homes have been used and furnished over this period, reflecting changes in society and patterns of behaviour as well as style, fashion and taste. The museum is set in 18th century former almshouses, surrounded by gardens, in Shoreditch, London.