History of Fashion Photography – Page 3 – Norman Parkinson, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Erwin Blumenfeld, Richard Avedon

Photographs by Norman Parkinson, Lillian Bassman and Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Fig 9-12

Norman Parkinson, (born in 1913) a contemporary of Beaton, also photographed the beau monde during the twenties and thirties, but, as he explains, with certain differences:

“I was hardly aware of other photographers’ work until I went to Harper’s, when I learnt about Steichen, Hoyningen-Huene, Durst and Beaton. But the women in their photographs were a rarefied few, an elitist handful. My women behaved quite differently – they drove cars, went shopping, had children and kicked the dog. I wanted to capture that side of women. I wanted them out in the fields jumping over the haycocks – I did not think they needed their knees bolted together. There was always room in a magazine for the scent-laden marble-floored studios with lilies falling out of great bowls of flowers. but there was also room for my sort of photography.”

(Norman Parkinson Lifework, page 35).

A good example of this type of portrayal are the next two pictures, both taken by Norman Parkinson in 1937. The first one (Fig. 9) has an irresistible quality of exuberance, 1930s style and femininity about it, but why is the image so successful? It would have been difficult to pose the models carefully, though the photographer might have asked them to ‘act out’ seeing someone on another boat, and waving.

In any case, the three poses are complementary, the left hand model is holding her left arm vertically, the middle one holding her left arm horizontally, index finger pointing upwards, the right hand model has a relaxed, leaning pose. The outstretched leg of the left hand model reaches over to the far side, close to the leaning model. The effect of the wind, the sense of movement and shifting balance, gives the image great dynamism, added to by the swathe of foam stretching from the bottom right to near the top left. But by what means was the photographer able to attain this pleasing arrangement in such unpredictable circumstances? Perhaps the gift of the photographer is to click the shutter exactly the right time:

“I was using, on location, my by-now faithful Graflex quarter plate camera, and was trying to make moving pictures with a still camera. many photographers who attempt this technique have come to realize that if you see on the ground glass the image you are striving for, and it is a moving or air-borne image, you are too late. The secret is to direct the shot and to have the luck to anticipate it. It was discovering that I had the exceptional good fortune to be able to do so that convinced me and I was hooked for all time on photography.”

(Norman Parkinson Life Work page 28)
Interestingly, the eyes of the middle model are exactly level with the horizon, and this is also a characteristic of the second picture by Norman Parkinson, showing a woman walking along a country track. The eyes are level with the horizon, adding an extra element of horizontality to the image. Again, the converging diagonals of the lane, going out of focus as they stretch into the distance give a sense of movement, added to by the brisk walk of the model. The pose is full of confidence. She looks directly to her right, along the line of the horizon, striding forward towards the camera.

The movement of the body and the texture of the material act together to dynamically portray the clothes.

A familiar and recurring issue in fashion photography, and perhaps photography in general, is the dichotomy between ‘realism’ and ‘artificiality’. At any one time, both have been in currency. The outdoor shots of Norman Parkinson were being made at about the same time as the posed and stylised studio works of Hoyningen-Huene. One photographer whose work was more at the romantic and impressionistic end of the spectrum was Lillian Bassman, a protégee of the legendary Alexei Brodovitch at Harpers, New York.

This image, (above, lower left) dating from 1949, and entitled ‘New York’, is timeless, almost contemporary in its look. With the depiction of a corset, we can see a return to more traditional, romantic vision of femininity. The image looks as if it was exposed sharp in the camera, but given a soft-focus effect at printing. There is slight double exposure, with probable use of a diffusing filter, or possibly an additional exposure was made out of focus. The pose has a sweeping sense of movement, the face and upper body are tipping forwards, the arms are pulling the strings backwards and upwards. The waist is tightly, painfully drawn in, to the extent that it looks unnaturally narrow. The tightness is contrasted with the looseness of the four hanging straps.

A moment is caught in time by the camera, a fleeting glimpse echoed by the reflection in the mirror.

At first the image looks primarily decorative, but in addition to beauty of form, a powerful feeling of constriction is expressed. Perhaps the fact that the photographer is female made her better able to empathise with how it feels to wear a corset.

Like Lillian Bassman, Louise Dahl-Wolfe also worked for Harpers Bazaar, and not long after her arrival at the magazine in 1935, was one of the first to use one-shot Kodachrome, which had just been brought onto the market. Many of her pictures feature swimwear fashion, and have a relaxed and luxurious feel, with tall, slim models in elegant, outstretched poses.

This shot by Louise Dahl-Wolfe (Fig. 12, above, lower right), made in 1950, has an attractive period feel due to the combined effect of the early fifties swimsuit style, and the yellowness of the colour balance, typical of early colour film. A familiar hallmark of this photographer is the reclining female model, the repeated curves of her body, and of the swimsuit material, set against the screen.

A rough division into vertical and horizontal thirds is visible. The bowl of fruit with tumbling exotic flowers recalls a still life. As if to contrast with the image by Hoyningen-Huene of the chic couple in swimsuits in an imaginary and unspecified location, this one is taken in a real-life place, as indicated by the map of Tunisia. The point of the star appears to indicate the exact place, a nice, cryptic touch.

The one photographer who more than any other came to symbolise the new direction which fashion photography took after the Second World War is Richard Avedon, who was born in 1923. He has been a leading figure in the world of photography since 1945, and is still active. He gained his first professional photographic experience in the Merchant Marine, taking ID photos. It was the innovative, ‘in-and-out-of-focus’ style of his shots of merchant seamen twins that caught the eye of Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexei Brodovitch, and persuaded him to try some fashion photos for the magazine. Soon, Avedon came to be regarded as the number one young photographer, creator of the ‘NewVision’.

Junior Bazaar, a separate edition, aimed at young people, ran for 3 years up till 1948, and featured a new brand of fresh and innovative photography, much of it contributed by Avedon. In its use of movement, the ‘in-and-out-of-focus’ effect, motion blur, cropping and the plain white background, we can see in this picture, (Fig.13 above top left) shot using Kodachrome, a startling break with many of the basic principles of photographers like Hoynignen-Huene, who by the time this photo was published, had given up fashion photography altogether.

Despite the apparently casual nature of the arrangement of the figures, the effect is very pleasing, and has a strong sense of circular, dance-like motion, a theme alluded to in the text. The profile of the model on the left forms a dark, chevron-like shape, pointing to the right – (the line of the back and rear of the dress forms a perfect arrow shape). The model is leaning back, looking up and laughing, whilst standing still, meanwhile the model further away is leaning forward, looking down whilst moving. The background model is looking down at the same angle as the foreground model is looking up. To balance the composition on the page, two leaf-shaped areas of dark colour have been added, again fitting in with the text. All in all, it is an attractive, vibrant image, which, at least in the case of the foreground model, shows off the clothes very well.

His style is described succinctly by Cecil Beaton and Gail Buckland:

“His pictures showed young ladies enjoying life to the full as they preened and jumped with joy in their Paris confections. Avedon’s photographs did not perhaps have technical perfection, and they were all the better for this, for they created the statement that he wished to make-of movement caught forever by his lens.”

The Magic Image, page 252

Fashion photos by Richard Avedon, Erwin Blumenfeld and David Bailey


Dovima with Elephants (Fig. 14 above right) is one of his most celebrated pictures. The image is well-crafted, but its main appeal seems to be that it was the first time anyone had taken a high fashion model together with elephants. It had a certain shock value. Richard Avedon’s modernism, had sweeping effect on photography, and there was a consequent rejection of the earlier, more ‘classical’ style:

“By 1945, Hoynignen-Huene’s stiff, formal poses, perfectly attuned to the Neo-classicism of the 1930’s, suddenly seemed anachronistic…The most devastating critique of Hoyningen-Huene’s photography was delivered in 1944 by Dr Agha (formerly Hoyningen-Huene’s art director at Vogue) who described it as ‘a cross between stagecraft, interior decoration, ballet and society portrait painting done by camera.’ ”

Perhaps there is a parallel with the Post War Modernism in other areas of creativity, such as architecture, where older styles were thrown out, to be replaced by bold, but in hindsight unsuccessful creations. I personally have a very high regard for the ‘classical style’ of the 1930’s but I also like the exuberance of the post war period. Each style has its place. No successful artist or photographer should be rejected because of the dictates of fashion. In a Post Modern age, all styles of the past are available in the present to be drawn on.

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) was an experimenter in photography, who made creative use of colour and lighting. This picture (Fig. 15 above lower left) shows a remarkable use of texture and colour. A finished print appears to have been rephotographed with a series of coloured transparent bars placed on top of it. The effect is to play tricks on the eye, forcing us to look more closely in order to try and make sense of what we are seeing.

As if to confuse matters further, curled strips of cellophane have been added. The incorrect, but very attractive colour balance, typical of early Kodachrome, adds to the image’s appeal. Though the model’s face is cut into a series of distorted vertical strips, she still manages to look beautiful, at least, our eyes are able to reconstruct her beauty by applying our innate knowledge – maybe if this image was presented to a computer facial recognition system, it mightn’t be able to recognise a face there at all!

The combination of a familiar subject viewed in a jarring and unfamiliar way is, for me, like being a child again, discovering new textures and lighting effects for the first time – I remember being especially fascinated with coloured transparent materials, as well as metallic reflective surfaces.

Go back to page 2 | Continue to page 4

Top 50 best & worst modern buildings in Manchester

Please click here to subscribe to my channel and view more of my videos- Thank you!I made this video in July, 2018 and it presents my selection of 50 of the best and worst buildings in Manchester. I’ve been interested in the architecture of Manchester from my childhood onwards. Since I made this video, many new buildings have appeared. I may produce a new article on this subject. Here I present the transcript of the video.

Hello and welcome to Manchester. In this video I present my Top 50 best and worst buildings in Manchester and district.

We’ll start with the worst ones

Number 50. The Arndale Centre by Hugh Wilson and Lewis Womersley 1972-1979. – Ugly and far too big, but as a shopping centre, very successful.

Number 49. Library Walk Link Building SimpsonHaugh – 2015 – ruins the effect of the two heritage buildings and blocks the beautiful passageway between them.

Number 48. Piccadilly pavilion Tadao Ando – 2002
Simply ugly and reminded me immediately of the Berlin Wall.

In 47th place, Number One Piccadilly Gardens von Allies and Morrison – 2003 – It was built on a greenspace and blocks the view of the historic facades.

46. Northenden flats 2014
This apartment building appeared the suburb of Northenden. The design is not bad but here in a village its too big and dominating. The building is bigger than in the original plans.

and now on to the better ones

Piccadilly Plaza Manchester 05.01.2010

45. Piccadilly Plaza Covell Mathews and Partners – 1965
Many hate it but I find it exciting and futuristic.

44. Bernard House, Piccadilly Plaza 1965 a building with a very interesting roof. Sadly it was demolished in 2003.

43. The Beetham/Hilton Tower Ian Simpson – 2007

42. The Trafford Centre Chapman Taylor & Leach Rhodes Walker – 1998 Architects cricitise but millions of visitors seem to like it!

41. The Mathematics Tower Scherrer and Hicks 1968 A nice building but no longer compatible with a modern university and demolished 2005, and replaced by…

40. University Place John McAslan + Partners – 2008 – At the university they call it ‘the tin can’.

and now on to the good ones…

39. Wythenshawe Park Tennis & Bowls Pavilion by City Architect LC Howitt – 1960 – A tiny masterpiece of modern architecture.

38. No 1 Deansgate Ian Simpson – 2002
A nice place to live, but not so good if you value your privacy.

37. Furness House fmr Manchester Liners Leach, Rhodes and Walker – 1969
In the former Manchester docks, it reminds me of Liberty Hall in Dublin.

36. The 1962 terminal at Manchester Airport by LC Howitt and Besant Roberts As a child I found it exciting and futuristic. Here’s a photo of mine from 1973.

35. Manchester Airport ATC Tower by CPM Architects 2013
Impressive and similar to other towers all over the world.

34. Pall Mall Court Brett & Pollen -1969
A nice sixties building.

33. – 55 King Street Casson, Conder & Partners 1966, 1969
Was a bank, now it’s a boutique.

32. City of Manchester Stadium Arup – 2002

31. Owens Park Tower Building Design Partnership – 1968
A student hall of residence with fantastic views.

30. Peter House Ansell and Bailey – 1958
Its facade curves outwards and opposite…

Number One St Peters Square

Number One St Peters Square

29. No1 St Peters Square Glenn Howells Architects – 2015
An elegant modern building its facade curves inwards.

28. Granada TV building Ralph Tubbs – 1956
A monument to the golden era of British TV.

27. The Lowry Hotel Consarc Design Architects – 2001

26. Contact Theatre Alan Short and Associates – 1999
A beautiful, interesting and rather crazy building.

25. Islington Wharf Broadway Malyan – 2000
Futuristic with great views

24. Oxford Rd Station William Robert Headley and Max Clendinning – 1960
It’s made out of wood and reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House

23. The Royal Exchange Theatre Levitt Bernstein – 1976
A building within a building. It looks like a lunar module.

22. The Bridgewater Hall Renton Howard Wood Levin – 1996
The new home of the Halle Orchestra founded in 1854 by the German-British musician Sir Charles Hallé.

Former MMU Hollins Building 'The Toast Rack' 24.07.2006

21. Toast Rack Hollings Campus Leonard Cecil Howitt – 1960
Was a college for catering and so form represents function.

20. Manchester Cancer Research Centre Capita Symonds – 2015

19. National Graphene Institute Jestico + Whiles 2015
It has facets, like a jewel.

18. The Quay Bar Stephenson Bell- 1998 It won prizes but as a bar it wasn’t successful and it was demolished in 2007

17. MMU Business School and Student Hub FCB Studios – 2012
A very impressive building made out of glass.

16. Stockport Pyramid 1992
Now an icon of Stockport.

15. Manchester International Office Centre former Renold Chain – Cruikshank & Seward – 1955
Near the airport, a very early example of modern office architecture.

14. New Piccadilly Station BDP – 2002
in my opinion the best modern station building in the UK. I use it every day.

13. Gateway House Richard Seifert & Partners – 1969
Here in 1998 recently renovated, and today it looks great.

12. The Lowry Michael Wilford – 2000
With its metal façade and crazy shapes and colours, it’s unmistakable.

11. Maths and Social Sciences Building Cruikshank and Seward – 1968
For me as a child, this was a symbol of modernity.

10. Renold Building W.A.Gibbon of Cruikshank and Seward – 1962
A masterpiece of modern architecture.

09. Hexagon Tower Blackley Richard Seifert – 1973
This futuristic building looks astonishingly like the modern PC Tower.

08. Daily Express Building Sir Owen Williams – 1939
Visionary and progressive, unlike the paper which moved out years ago.

Home Manchester 15.05.2018

07 HOME by Mecanoo – 2015 a home for cinema, theatre and art. It looks great by day and by night.

06. Siemens Building Buttress Architects – 1989p
In south Manchester, influenced by the Bauhaus.

05. Imperial War Museum Daniel Libeskind – 2002
Represents a world shattered by war.

04. Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall – 2008
Very big, very expensive but in my opinion a modern masterpiece.

03. Urbis Ian Simpson – 2001
A great building – exciting. My Manchester Megaphoto was displayed here. Since 2012 the National Football Museum.

02. One Angel Square by 3DReid – 2013
For many Manchester’s best modern building but my number one is…

01. The CIS Tower by Gordon Tait – 1962
Outside and inside superb, influenced by the Inland Steel Building, Chicago, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1956. Since 2004, a huge solar project. I’ve taught in the CIS Tower.

Chicago Inland Steel Building and Manchester CIS Tower

The Inland Steel Building, Chicago (1 and 3) was an inspiration for the CIS Building, Manchester (2 and 4)

So what’s your favourite building (in Manchester?) Please write it in the comments below.

And please like and subscribe.

Many thanks for watching and see you again in Manchester.

This video was showcased on the I Love Manchester website – many thanks to them for featuring my work.

Interview with me on the I Love Manchester website

Top 50 der besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester

Ich habe im Juli 2018 dieses Video gemacht. Es präsentiert meine Auswahl der fünfzig besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester. Ich interessiere mich seit meiner Kindheit für die Architektur von Manchester. Seit ich dieses Video gemacht habe, sind viele neue Gebäude entstanden. Vielleicht schreibe ich einen neuen Beitrag zu diesem Thema. Hier das Transkript des Videos.

Hallo und Willkommen in Manchester. In diesem Video präsentiere ich meine Top Fünfzig der besten und schlechtesten Gebäude in Manchester und Umgebung.

Zuerst die schlechten…

Manchester Arndale Market St facade 04.05.2003

Nummer 50, das Arndale Centre, von Hugh Wilson und Lewis Womersley 1972 bis 1979
Hässlich und viel zu groß, aber als Einkaufszentrum sehr erfolgreich.

49. Das Library Walk Link Building 2015
Zerstört das Effekt der beiden Klassik-Gebäude und blockiert die Fußgängerpassage.

48. Der Piccadilly-Gardens-Pavilion und die Piccadilly-Mauer von Tadao Ando, 2002
Einfach hässlich und erinnerte mich sofort an die Berliner Mauer.

47. Number One Piccadilly Gardens von Allies and Morrison 2003.
Es wurde auf einer Grünfläche gebaut und blockiert die Ansicht der historischen Gebäude.

46. Dieser Wohnblock entstand 2014 im Vorort Northenden
Das Design ist nicht schlecht aber hier im Dorf ist es zu groß und zu dominierend. Das Gebäude ist größer als in den ursprünglichen Plänen.

und jetzt zu den besseren…

45. Piccadilly Plaza von Covell Mathews and Partners, 1965
Viele hassen es aber für mich ist es spannend und futuristisch.

Bernard House Piccadilly Plaza

Bernard House Piccadilly Plaza

44. Bernard House, Piccadilly Plaza, 1965
Hatte ein sehr interessantes Dach. Leider wurde es 2001 abgerissen.

43. Der Beetham Hilton Tower von Ian Simpson Architects, 2007

42. Das Trafford Centre von Chapman Taylor and Leach Rhodes Walker, 1998
Architekten kritisieren es, aber Millionen Besucher finden es gut!

Nummer 41, der Maths Tower der Universität Manchester 1968
Schön aber nicht mehr mit einer modernen Universität kompatibel und 2005 abgerissen. An seiner Stelle entstand…

40. University Place von John McAslan + Partners, 2008
An der Uni heißt es ‘the tin can’ – die Blechdose.

und nun zu den guten…

39. Wythenshawe Park Tennis und Bowls Pavilion vom offiziellen Stadtarchitekten LC Howitt 1960
Ein kleines Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.

38. Number One Deansgate von Ian Simpson, 2002
Schön aber, wenn Sie Ihre Privatsphäre schätzen, nicht so gut!

37. Furness House, auch Manchester Liners building – 1969
In den ehemaligen Manchester Docks, jetzt Salford Quays – erinnert mich an die Liberty Hall in Dublin

36. Das 1962 gebaute Terminal am Manchester Flughafen, von LC Howitt und Besant Roberts
War für mich als Kind spannend und futuristisch. Hier mein Foto aus dem Jahr 1973.

35. Manchester Airport ATC Tower by CPM Architects 2013
Beeindruckend und sieht ähnlich aus wie andere Tower überall in der Welt.

34. Pall Mall Court von Brett und Pollen 1969
Ein schönes Gebäude der sechziger Jahre.

33. 55 King Street von Casson, Conder & Partners. 1969
War eine Bank und ist jetzt eine Boutique.

32. Das City of Manchester Stadion von Arup, 2002

31. Owens Park Tower von Building Design Partership, BDP, 1968
Ein Studentenwohnheim mit schönen Aussichten.

30. Peter House von Ansell and Bailey – 1958
So alt wie ich und mit einer nach außen gewölbten Fassade. Gegenüber steht…

29. Number One St Peters Square von Glenn Howells Architects, 2015
Ein elegantes Gebäude mit einer nach innen gebogenen Fassade.

28. Das Granada TV Building von Ralph Tubbs, 1956,
Erinnert an die goldene Ära des britischen Fernsehens.

The Lowry Hotel Edge Apartments and River Irwell. Blackfriars Bridge and Manchester Cathedral can be seen straight ahead.

The Lowry Hotel Edge Apartments and River Irwell. Blackfriars Bridge

27. Das Lowry Hotel von Consarc Design Architects, 2001.

26. das Contact-Theatre von Alan Short and Associates, 1999
Ein schönes, interessantes und auch verrücktes Gebäude

Islington Wharf apartment building 27.07.2008

25. Islington Wharf von Broadway Malyan, 2000
Futuristisch mit schönen Aussichten.

24. Oxford Road Station von William Robert Headly and Max Clendinning, 1960.
Der Bahnhof ist aus Holz gebaut und erinnert an das Sydney-Opernhaus.

23. The Royal Exchange Theatre by Levitt Bernstein, 1976
Ein Gebäude in einem Gebäude. Sieht aus wie das Lunar Module.

22. Die Bridgewater Hall von Renton Howard Wood Levin, 1996.
Das neue Zuhause des Halle Orchesters, das vom deutsch-britischen Musiker Sir Charles Hallé 1854 gegründet wurde.

21. The Toast Rack – Hollings Campus von Leonard Cecil Howitt, 1960
War eine Cateringschule. Die Form repräsentiert die Funktion.

20. Manchester Cancer Research Centre von Capital Symonds – 2015

19. Das Nationale Graphene-Institut von Jestico + Whiles – 2015
Hat Facetten wie ein Juwel.

18. The Quay Bar von Stephenson Bell, 1998

hat Preise gewonnen, war aber als Bar nicht erfolgreich und wurde 2007 abgerissen.

17. MMU Business School & Student Hub von FCB Studios 2012
Ein sehr schönes Gebäude aus Glas.

16. Das Stockport Pyramid 1992, ein Wahrzeichen von Stockport.

15. Manchester International Office Centre former Renold Chain – Cruikshank & Seward, 1955
In der Nähe vom Flughafen, ein sehr frühes Beispiel der modernen Büroarchitektur. Ich unterrichte in diesem Gebäude.

14. Der neue Bahnhof Piccadilly von BDP 2002
Meiner Meinung nach, der schönste moderne Bahnhof von Großbritannien. Ich nutze diesen Bahnhof täglich.

13. Gateway House von Richard Seifert and Partners, 1969 wurde in den letzten Jahren renoviert und sieht jetzt sehr schön aus.

12. The Lowry von Michael Wilford, 2000
Mit seiner Fassade aus Metall und seinen verrückten Formen unverkennbar.

11. The Maths and Social Science Building von Cruikshank and Seward 1968
Für mich als Kind, ein Symbol der Moderne.

Manchester University (former UMIST) Renold Building 06.05.2018

10. The Renold Building von W.A. Gibbon des Architektenbüros Cruikshank and Seward, 1962
Ein Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.

09. Der Hexagon Tower von Richard Seifert, 1973
Dieses futuristische Gebäude sieht wie der moderne PC-Tower aus.

08. Das Daily-Express-Building von Sir Owen Williams 1939
Visionär und zukunftsorientiert – im Gegensatz zur Zeitung, die vor vielen Jahren ausgezogen ist. Das Design beeinflusste Sir Norman Foster.

07. HOME von Mecanoo. 2015
Dieses Zuhause für Kino, Theater und Kunst sieht bei Tag und Nacht toll aus.

06. Das Siemens-Gebäude von Buttress Architects ,1989
In Süd-Manchester, vom Bauhaus-Stil beeinflusst.

05. Das Imperial War Museum North von Daniel Libeskind , 2002
Repräsentiert eine vom Krieg erschütterte Welt.

04. The Civil Justice Centre by Denton Corker Marshall, 2008
Sehr groß, sehr teuer, aber meiner Meinung nach ein Meisterwerk der modernen Architektur.

03. Urbis von Ian Simpson, 2001
Ein tolles, spannendes Gebäude. Mein Manchester-Megaphoto wurde hier ausgestellt. Seit 2012 ist es das Nationale Fußballmuseum

02. One Angel Square von 3DReid, 2013
Für viele Leute das beste moderne Gebäude von Manchester, aber meine Nummer Eins… ist…

01. The CIS Tower von Gordon Tait, 1962 beeinflusst vom Inland Steel Gebäude, Chicago von Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1956. Seit 2004 ein riesiges Solar-Projekt. Ich habe im CIS-Tower unterrichtet.

Chicago Inland Steel Building and Manchester CIS Tower

Und was ist dein Lieblingsgebäude? Bitte schreib es in die Kommentare unten.

Bitte liken und abonnieren, danke.

Vielen Dank fürs Zuschauen und auf Wiedersehen in Manchester.

Bitte liken und abonnieren.

909 Wörter

George Best 1946-2005 – Article + Spoken word audio with hits from 6 decades


When we think about George Best, do we remember him for his football, or for his alcoholism? Many people have asked themselves this question both during his life and after his premature death. How will he be remembered?

George Best was born on 22 May, 1946 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His father Dickie is a shipyard worker, his mother Annie a former hockey player. They are from a Presbyterian background and live in the residential district of Cregagh, south east Belfast, at number 16 Burren Way.

The Bests have six children, George is their first child. In every spare minute George plays football on the street and on the neighbouring sports field. At fifteen, he is discovered by Manchester United’s talent scout Bob Bishop.

At that time, the club were looking for new talent, because three years earlier, they had suffered a major blow. It happened on Thursday, 6 February, 1958 at Munich-Riem Airport. The team had played against Red Star Belgrade and were on their way back to Manchester.

Sir Matt Busby statue MUFCTheir plane, an Airspeed Ambassador, stopped at Munich to refuel. It was snowing and there were freezing temperatures. On the third attempt to take off, the plane came off the runway and exploded. Half the team died. Manager Matt Busby was seriously injured. His life hung in the balance. Nine team members survived. Matt Busby recovered and started building a new team.

And so, in 1961, talent scout Bob Bishop sends Matt Busby a telegram in which he says: “I think I’ve found you a genius“. Best comes to Manchester, but returns to Belfast after just one day. He doesn’t feel comfortable at the world-famous club and he’s homesick. Matt Busby writes to his father. His father writes back and Best returns to Manchester. Busby becomes a father figure to him.

George lives a small house on Aycliffe Avenue, Chorlton, South Manchester with Mrs Fullaway, a widow, and her son Steve, a Manchester United fan. She takes care of him as if he were her own son.

Soon his team mates start to notice his talents. “Sensational,” says Pat Crerand in the 2017 BBC documentary. He also remarks, what a nice and quiet lad Georg Best is. His first outing is on 14 September, 1963 in the game against West Bromwich Albion.

Manchester United’s main aim is to win the European Cup. In 1966 United plays Benfica in the quarter-final of the European Cup. It is 3 2 to United from the first leg. After Tony Dunne’s free kick, George Best scores the first goal with a header. Five minutes later, he dribbles past five Benfica players and scores for the second time. Manchester United win the game 5:1 but not the cup.

In the BBC documentary, goalkeeper Harry Gregg comments: “The night that George became a different person, was the night that George scored two goals against Benfica. On that night he became the legend that was George Best.”

George Best becomes the first football pop star with an extravagant lifestyle: parties, expensive cars, champagne, gambling, women. He owns two fashion boutiques, appears on tv shows and is called the ‘fifth `Beatle’.

Lisbon 1968, Best scores in the final of the European Championship against Benfica. United wins 4-1. Best is voted Footballer of the Year in Europe and England.

Ten years after the Munich Air Crash, Matt Busby has achieved his ambition. At 22, George Best has reached the peak of his career. But where to now? Unfortunately for George Best it downhill.

On the 26th of April 1969 Sir Matt Busby resigns as manager, but stays on as General Manager of the club. Several managers follow, but the good times are over for Manchester United.

Best’s alcohol escapades become more and more frequent. He turns up drunk for training or not at all. Everywhere he’s pursued by the press.

George commissions a dream house to be built on Blossoms Lane, in Bramhall south of Manchester. But the state-of-the-art bachelor pad only offers even more opportunities for parties, intimate rendezvous with attractive models and alcohol.

On one occasion, George goes missing for several days and is then found in London. Sir Matt stipulates that he must go back to live at Mrs. Fullaway’s house.

Due to his gambling addiction and unsuccessful business activities he starts to build up large debts.

In 1972 Best announces his resignation, but makes a comeback nine months later. He’s not successful. He is not fit enough and he doesn’t train enough not to mention the effects of alcohol.

After eleven years at Manchester United, he makes his final appearance on 1 January, 1974. He has scored 179 goals in 470 games but never has played in the World Cup or the European Cup

After that, George Best makes a series of appearances: for the Jewish Guild of Johannesburg, Dunstable Town, Stockport County, Cork Celtic and then Los Angeles Aztecks. At that time, Elton John was co-owner of the club.

There he becomes a cult star and is able to enjoy the California life style: soccer during the day, racquetball on the beach in the afternoon, pool and drinks with friends in the evening. In Hermosa Beach he meets model and former Playboy Bunny Angie MacDonald. In 1978 they get married in Las Vegas.

The stability does not last long. George opens a bar, Bestie’s Bar, and the alcohol problems return. Angie becomes pregnant, Calum is born in 1981.

Again he doesn’t show up for training. He is suspended, moves to Fort Lauderdale Strikers, plays for Fulham FC, Hibernian Edinburgh, then San Jose Earthquakes. There he undergoes alcohol therapy three times, but to no avail, and he finally returns to the UK.

George Best mural Blythe St Belfast

George Best mural Blythe St Belfast

Best plays 37 times for the Northern Ireland national team and scores nine goals. He declares he’s in favour a single north-south Irish national team. After appearing at AFC Bournemouth and Brisbane Lions in Australia, Best ends his career.

In 1984 he is found by a police officer to be drunk at the wheel of a car. After insulting another police officer, he goes to prison for two months.

In 1986 he gets divorced from Angie. In the late 80s he works for various newspapers and becomes a commentator for Sky Sports. He often talks openly about his alcohol problems. His escapades are reported almost every day in the British tabloid press.

In 1995 he marries the model Alex Pursey. In the BBC film, she tells how, free of alchool, he is the ideal husband but when under the influence, he becomes aggressive

In December 2001, he receives an Honorary Doctorate from Queens University Belfast. He undergoes a liver transplant in August 2002, but still he is unable to give up alcohol. In 2004, he loses his licence due to drink driving and his marriage to Alex ends in divorce.

In October 2005, he is admitted to Cromwell Hospital in London. The end comes on Friday the 25th of November 2005 at 1:00 p.m. His son Calum tells the press: “Not only have I lost my dad, we’ve all lost a wonderful man.”

100,000 people come to his funeral in his home city of Belfast. In 2007 the airport is renamed George Best Belfast City Airport. But the decision is controversial. In the referendum, 52% were in favour, 48% against.

Manchester United 'Trinity' statue, Old Trafford Ground

Manchester United ‘Trinity’ statue, Old Trafford Ground

So when we think of George Best, do we remember him for his football or for his alcoholism? Both, because they are the two sides of a tragic hero.

In his homeland, his name is still spoken with reverence by people in both communities there are George Best murals in many places. On YouTube, videos of his legendary dribbling skills have been viewed millions of times. The George Best Facebook page now has over 300,000 members, more than any other deceased football player.

In the end, what can you say about George Best? Genius on the pitch, most famous footballer of the beat generation, tragic hero. But for his fans, young and old, he remains the best football player of all time.

George Best 1946-2005 – deutsche Version geschrieben und gesprochen von Aidan O’Rourke

die Audiovisuelle Zeitschrift - Titelkopf

GEORGE BEST 1946-2005

Wenn wir an George Best denken, denken wir dann an seinen Fußball, oder an seinen Alkoholismus? Diese Frage haben sich viele Leute auch während seines allzu kurzen Lebens gestellt. Wie wird er in Erinnerung bleiben?

George Best wurde am 22. Mai 1946 in Belfast, Nordirland geboren. Sein Vater Dickie war Werftarbeiter, seine Mutter Annie ehemalige Hockeyspielerin. Sie haben presbyterianischen Hintergrund und wohnen im Wohnviertel Cregagh, Südost-Belfast, Burren Way Nummer 16.

Die Familie Best hat sechs Kinder und George ist ihr erstes Kind. In jeder freien Minute kickt er auf der Straße und auf dem benachbarten Sportplatz. Mit fünfzehn Jahren wird er vom Talentscout des Manchester United Bob Bishop entdeckt.

Sir Matt Busby statue MUFCDer Verein war auf der Suche nach neuem Talent, denn drei Jahre zuvor musste er einen schweren Schlag erleiden. Es geschah am Donnerstag den 6. Februar, 1958 am Flughafen München-Riem. Das Team hatte für den Europapokal gegen Roter Stern Belgrad gespielt und waren auf dem Rückweg nach Manchester.

Ihre Maschine, ein Airspeed Ambassador, machte zum Auftanken einen Zwischenstopp in München. Es schneite und war eisig kalt. Beim dritten Startversuch kam die Maschine von der Startbahn ab und explodierte. Die Hälfte der Mannschaft starb. Cheftrainer Matt Busby wurde schwer verletzt und schwebte in Lebensgefahr. Neun Mannschaftsmitglieder überlebten. Matt Busby erholte sich und begann ein neues Team aufzubauen.

1961 schreibt Talentscout Bob Bishop in einem Telegramm an Matt Busby: “Ich glaube, ich habe für Sie ein Genie entdeckt”. Best kommt nach Manchester, geht aber schon nach einem Tag wieder zurück nach Belfast. Er fühlt sich im weltberühmten Verein nicht wohl und hat Heimweh. Matt Busby schreibt an seinen Vater. Er spricht mit seinem Sohn, antwortet und Best kehrt nach Manchester zurück. Danach wird Busby zu einer Vaterfigur für ihn.

George wohnt in einem kleinen Haus in der Aycliffe Avenue, Chorlton, Süd-Manchester bei der Witwe Fullaway und ihrem Sohn Steve, einem Fan von Manchester United. Sie kümmert sich um ihn wie um ihren eigenen Sohn.

Bald werden seine Kameraden auf seine Talente aufmerksam. “Sensationell”, sagt Pat Crerand im BBC-Film von 2017 “aber auch ein sehr netter und ruhiger Junge”. Sein erster Einsatz ist am 14. September 1963 im Spiel gegen West Bromwich Albion.

Es ist das gemeinsame Ziel von Manchester United, den Europapokal zu gewinnen. 1966 spielt United gegen Benfica im Viertelfinale des Europapokals. Es steht 3 zu 2 vom Hinspiel. Nach dem Freistoß von Tony Dunne erzielt George Best mit einem Kopfstoß das erste Tor. Fünf Minuten später lässt er mehrere Benfica-Spieler aussteigen und trifft zum zweiten Mal. Manchester United gewinnt die Partie mit 5 zu 1 aber nicht den Pokal.

Im BBC-Dokumentar kommentiert Torwart Harry Gregg: “Der Abend, an dem George zu einer anderen Person wurde, war der Abend, an dem George zwei Tore gegen Benfica erzielte. An dem Abend wurde er zur Legende George Best.”

George Best wird zum ersten Fußball-Popstar mit extravagantem Lebensstil: Partys, teure Autos, Champagner, Glücksspiele, Frauen. Der Eigentümer von zwei Modeboutiquen tritt in Fernsehshows auf und wird ‘fünfter Beatle’ genannt.

Lissabon 1968, im Endspiel des europäischen Landesmeisterwettbewerbs gegen Benfica gelangt Best ein Treffer. United siegt mit 4:1. Best wird zum Fußballer des Jahres in Europa und in England gewählt.

Zehn Jahre nach der Luftkatastrophe hat Matt Busby sein Ziel erreicht. Mit 22 Jahren erreicht George Best den Höhepunkt seiner Karriere. Aber wohin kann es nun gehen? Für George Best geht es leider bergab.

Am 26. April 1969 tritt Sir Matt Busby als Cheftrainer zurück, bleibt aber als General Manager im Verein. Ihm folgen mehrere Trainer, aber bei Manchester United sind die großen Zeiten vorbei.

Bests Alkoholeskapaden werden immer häufiger. Er kommt betrunken oder überhaupt nicht zum Training. Überall wird er von der Presse gejagt.

George Best mural Blythe St Belfast

George-Best-Wandmalerei, Blythe Street, Belfast

George lässt ein Traumhaus in der Blossoms Lane südlich von Manchester bauen. Die hochmoderne Jungesellenbude bietet jedoch nur weitere Möglichkeiten für Partys, Rendezvous mit hübschen Fotomodellen und Alkohol. Einmal bleibt George mehrere Tage vermisst und wird dann in London aufgefunden. Sir Matt stipuliert, dass er zurück zu Frau Fullaway muss.

Wegen seiner Spielsucht und seiner erfolglosen Geschäftsaktivitäten hat er Schulden aufgebaut.

1972 erklärt Best seinen Rücktritt, macht aber neun Monate später ein Comeback, jedoch ohne Erfolg. Er ist nicht fit und trainiert nicht oft genug, geschweige denn die Effekte des Alkohols.

Nach elf Jahren bei Manchester United tritt er zum letzten Mal am 1. Januar 1974 auf. Er hatte in 470 Spielen 179 Tore geschossen, spielte aber weder eine WM oder EM.

Dann folgt eine Reihe von Auftritten: für die Jewish Guild of Johannesburg, Dunstable Town, Stockport County, Cork Celtic, Los Angeles Aztecks. Elton John war damals Miteigentümer des Vereins.

Dort wird er zum Kultstar und kann das Leben in Kalifornien genießen: Am Tag Fußball, dann Racquetball am Strand, am Abend Pool und Getränke mit Freunden. In Hermosa Beach lernt er das Fotomodell und ehemalige Playboy-Bunny Angie MacDonald kennen. 1978 heiraten sie in Las Vegas.

Die Stabilität dauert aber nicht lange. George eröffnet eine Bar, Bestie’s Bar und die Alkoholprobleme kehren zurück. Angie wird schwanger, Calum wird 1981 geboren.

Schon wieder erscheint er nicht zum Training. Er wird vom Verein gesperrt, wechselt zu Fort Lauderdale Strikers, spielt bei FC Fulham, Hibernian Edinburgh, dann San Jose Earthquakes. Dort dort macht er dreimal eine Alkoholtherapie, aber diese brachte nichts und er kehrt endlich zurück nach Großbritannien.

Manchester United 'Trinity' statue, Old Trafford Ground

Trinity-Statue, MUFC-Stadion, Old Trafford

Best spielt 37 Mal für die Nationalmannschaft Nordirlands und erzielt neun Tore. Er erklärt, dass er für ein vereinigtes irisches Nord-Süd-Nationalteam sei. Nach Auftritten bei AFC Bournemouth und den australischen Brisbane Lions, beendet Best seine Karriere.

Im Jahr 1984 wird er betrunken am Steuer von einem Polizisten erwischt. Weil er einen Polizisten auch beleidigt, muss er für zwei Monate ins Gefängnis.

Im Jahr 1986 lässt er sich von Angie scheiden. In den späten 80er Jahren arbeitet für verschiedene Zeitungen und wird Kommentator für Sky Sports. Er spricht offen über seine Alkoholprobleme. Über seine Eskapaden wird in der britischen Boulevardpresse fast jeden Tag berichtet.

1995 heiratet er das Fotomodell Alex Pursey. Im BBC-Film bekennt sie, er sei ohne Alkohol der ideale Ehemann. Unter Alkoholeinfluss werde er aber oft aggressiv.

Im Dezember 2001 bekommt er die Ehrendoktorwürde an der Queens University Belfast. Eine Lebertransplantation erfolgt im August 2002, aber er kommt vom Alkohol nicht weg. Im Jahr 2004 verliert er wegen Trunkenheit am Steuer den Führerschein und seine Ehe mit Alex endet in einer Scheidung.

Im Oktober 2005 wird er ins Londoner Cromwell Hospital eingeliefert. Das Ende kommt am 25. November 2005 um 13:00 Uhr. Vor dem Krankenhaus sagt sein Sohn Callum. Ich habe nicht nur meinen Vater verloren, sondern wir alle haben einen wunderbaren Menschen verloren.

In seiner Heimatstadt Belfast kommen 100.000 Menschen zur Beerdigung.

Im Jahre 2007 wird der Flughafen in George Best City Airport umbenannt. Aber die Entscheidung ist umstritten. Im Volksentscheid waren 52% dafür, 48% dagegen.

Wenn wir also an George Best denken, kommt sein Fußball oder sein Alkoholismus in den Sinn? Die Antwort ist beide, denn es sind die zwei Seiten eines tragischen Helden.

In seiner Heimat wird sein Name noch mit Ehrfurcht von Protestanten wie Katholiken ausgesprochen. In vielen Gegenden sieht man George-Best-Wandmalereien. Bei YouTube werden Videos seiner legendären Dribbel-Künste millionenmal angeschaut. Die George Best Facebook-Seite hat heute mehr als 300.000 Mitglieder, mehr als irgend ein anderer verstorbener Fußballer.

Was kann man letztendlich über George Best sagen? Genie auf dem Rasen, bekanntester Fußballer der Beat-Generation, tragischer Held. Doch für seine Fans, jung und alt, bleibt George Best der beste Fußballer aller Zeiten.

Remembering Kodachrome – Commentary by Aidan O’Rourke

I took this photograph in 1981 my final year at university. I was lucky enough to get a summer job at the CIEE student travel office in the YMCA West 34th Street New York.

With the money I saved, I bought my first SLR camera a Fujc STX-1 at a shop near Times Square. It cost $70 I was experimenting with the camera and decided to try out long shutter speeds.

This was my very first time exposure in the camera. I had a roll of Kodachrome 25. I propped the camera up on the window ledge of my tiny room and pointed it down at the street. I set the aperture to f-16 and the shutter to the bulb setting.

I tried different shutter speeds probably 2s, 10s and 30s. This one must have been 30 seconds. we can see the red light trails of cars heading downtown along 9th Avenue. There’s a blue police car parked on the left-hand side and further up, a yellow Caprice Classic taxi.

It really was like being in a movie. The façade is lit up by the intense red of the Market Diner neon signs. Both film and digital have difficulty with red and so there are very few details and the light seems very intense.

The diner and its surroundings have the look of an Edward Hopper painting and look how the tree branches are blurred because they’re blowing in the wind. On the right there’s a British Austin 1100.

In the upper left are the tracks and overhead cables from Penn Station. The sign says ‘park fast’ – typical New York. When the package from Kodak arrived in the post a couple of weeks later, I tore it open and looked at the slides.

This one was one of my favourites. Nothing can replace the excitement of your early experiments in photography, but I can’t help feeling at photography has lost something with the demise of Kodachrome.

Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon artwork at Liverpool Cathedral

Exhibition of the Moon - English version


I went to Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and inside, I saw the moon – not the one in the sky but a scaled down moon 1/500,000th the size of the real one.

It was on display at the north end of the cathedral. The effect as you enter is breathtaking. There, in front of you, is a faithful representation of the moon, with all its grandeur and hypnotic power.

I coudn’t take my eyes off it. The scores of visitors couldn’t either. They photographed it, had selfies taken with it, put their hands out and pretended to hold it while they had their photo taken. They sat on the steps on either side gazing at it, walked around it, lay on the floor staring up at it.

It’s an artwork created by the artist Luke Jerram, but for me, the fascinating thing about this representation of the moon is that it is a composite photograph, a three dimensional print. It’s basically a sphere with a large composite image of the moon’s surface printed on it.

Exhibition of the Moon at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

You can find lots of information about Luke Jerram and his incredible moon on the Museum of the Moon website. I particularly recommend the Radio 4 documentary on the ‘Press’ page. It is presented as a video with still images of the artwork in the various locations it’s been on display. These include Tintern Abbey in Wales, a swimming pool in Rennes, France, the Commonwealth Games in Australia and many more.

It has a magical presence but basically it is a balloon, a similar one to a weather balloon, with artwork printed on it. Luke Jerram has used the technology that’s readily available to create and print this masterpiece.

The moon is made out of curved sections which are each printed with photographic images taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. They are then assembled into a sphere, which is inflated and hung from above. The sphere is lit up from inside.

For me, the moon looked best later on in the evening as the sunlight was fading. Then you can imagine you are in lunar orbit, observing it from hundreds of miles up.

It’s a remarkable experience to see the moon – or a copy of it – so close. It’s not possible to touch it as it’s suspended just above arm’s length.

It’s even more remarkable to see the hidden ‘dark side’ of the moon, the side we never see. This strange half of the moon is covered mostly with craters, while the familiar side has its distinctive darker ‘seas’ surrounded by countless craters and even craters within craters.

One of the ministers at the Cathedral provided information to visitors and he pointed out to me the exact location of the Apollo 11 landing site in the Sea of Tranquility. I looked hard but didn’t see the remains of the mission! They would of course be much too small.

Luke Jerram's Exhibition of the Moon artwork at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral seen through grand interior arch

By the way each centimetre represents five kilometres of the moon’s surface so if you could touch your thumb on the surface, it would cover an area as big as a medium-sized airport.

I had intended to spend maybe half an hour there, but I ended up staying around three hours. I felt reassured, inspired, comforted by the proximity of the moon.

It was wonderful to see the moon exhibited in a cathedral. The prayers offered in the cathedral seemed fitting.

Some observations: This moon is lit up from within with no dark areas, but at any one time, only about half of the real moon is in sunlight, the rest is in shadow.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter surveyed the moon’s surface from orbit and recorded the images at different times. For this reason some of the craters have the shadow on the left and others nearby have the shadows on the right.

This makes your eyes see them with the curious ‘bulging crater’ effect, where you see the crater in reverse because you think the shadows are from the left when they’re from the right, and vice versa. That’s not a criticism and probably not many people will have noticed it.

What would really improve the experience is if the sphere were continuous all round, as well as top and bottom, with no joins and no circle at the top and at the bottom.

It would also be great if the sphere floated – I believe Luke Jerram is working on this and I can’t wait to see the floating, helium-filled moon when it is ready.

It’s artistic, it’s educational, it’s scientific.

All in all it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time and it presents many opportunities for photographic experiment.

The Exhibition of the Moon by Luke Jerram at Liverpool Cathedral

Stereoscopic image of the Moon by Luke Jerram

For now, let me just say that I found this artwork stunning. I grew up with the moon landings and have taken countless photos of the moon myself.

Whenever I look at it rising in the sky, it still has a powerful visual effect on me, probably dating back to those ‘moonshot’ times of my childhood.

I went back for another visit on Thursday night, the last night. I managed to get there for 9.45 – there was a long queue.

Soon we were inside and I savoured those final moments with the moon. At 10:30 the minister read a special prayer and we recited the Our Father. And then it was time to leave and the Cathedral security employees herded us towards the door.

At the front door I gazed back at the moon one last time and then walked out under the dusk sky of Liverpool. I couldn’t see the real moon, as there was too much cloud.

Actually there are several moons on tour around the world. Maybe one of the moons will be exhibited somewhere near you.

I hope you will have a chance to see and photograph this incredible, astonishing and mesmerising artwork. It is, in the truest sense of the word, awesome.


The Exhibition of the Moon by Luke Jerram at Liverpool Cathedral - with cathedral window



A journey through time and space into the World of Libraries

Libraries in Manchester

This bilingual video project is currently in pre-production. I am gathering the information and the photographs and hope to launch the video during October 2018

In this video I will focus on libraries and their many benefits but at the same time we’ll see why libraries are under threat.

The video will be in English embedded with German. It’s part of my mission in 2019 to help and encourage people to learn the German language, which I’ve taught for over 40 years. The video will useful to anyone with an interest in German language, from just a passing interest to high level competency. As part of the format, I highlight the connections between the German-speaking world and the English-speaking world.

Here is a list of the libraries I expect to feature in the video. More may be added:

Chethams Library Manchester
The Portico Library
The John Rylands Library
The Central Library
Cheetham Library
Stockport Carnegie Library
Edgeley Library
Liverpool Central Library
West Derby Carnegie Library
Everton Library (hilltop)
The Gladstone Library
Trinity College Library
Chester Beatty Library
Marsh’s Library
Bolton St Library
Dun Laoghaire DLR Lexicon Library
Aberdeen Sir Duncan Rice Library
The British Library
The London Library
The Library of Birmingham
Gedenkbibliothek Berlin

So here are some bullet points on the good aspects of libraries.

Libraries are free and they’re dedicated to helping you
Most of the time in life we are being persuaded to spend time and money on things that don’t really benefit us. At a library you can spend time on improving yourself and it doesn’t cost anything.

The course includes a cultural visit, for instance to one or more of these libraries

You can connect with past times
Many libraries have a history going back decades even centuries that can be very inspiring if you’re studying or simply looking for interesting places to visit.

Some libraries are exclusive and prestigious – and that can be good too
Some libraries are respected institutions open only to members, like the Portico Library in Manchester. If you are in a position to become a member, you can enjoy many advantages. It’s a further example of the good that libraries do.

Libraries have high ideals and principles
As you will see if you go into the main reading room at Manchester Central library there is an inscription on the ceiling which I’m going to photograph for the video. It celebrates the benefits of learning.

You can get information at libraries that is not available online
Some people say we don’t lead libraries because you can get all the information you need on your computer, tablet or smartphone but that’s not true! Libraries contain a huge amount of information that is not available online. If you researching a subject in depth, the chances are that the information you need is contained in a library somewhere.

Libraries are very good for local information and family history
One of the areas where libraries excel is local history and family history. Most libraries have large collections of books and photographs that you won’t find anywhere else.

Libraries celebrate books and learning
The John Rylands library in Manchester is not just a building that contains books but a place that celebrates books and learning. There are many exhibitions on the subject of old books and manuscripts down the ages. It’s also possible for researchers to gain access to very rare and precious books. It looks like a cathedral but it is not a place of worship. People call a cathedral to books. The Chester Beatty library in Dublin is not really a library, rather a museum about books and has many fascinating exhibitions based on its collections of books from Europe and Asia.

Libraries contain hidden treasure houses what you can discover something totally unique.
Libraries contain so much information a lot of of it is obscure and forgotten but you may well discover something quite unusual and quite astonishing in a library. Some libraries are themselves hidden and obscure. Marsh’s Library in Dublin is not very well-known but it is a tiny treasure house of books and knowledge.

Libraries can be social.
Studying can be a very solitary experience. As a library it feels more social and even though you’re not speaking to the people around you, you are not alone. However sometimes people do make contact with each other at a library. Some couples have even met that way so isnt’ that another reason for visiting one!

Libraries are the backbone of universities.
If you study at a university you will spend a lot of time in the library. Every university has one. Some are even open 24 hours a day for students.

Libraries can inspire children.
When I was a child I went to our local library in Edgeley, Stockport and I can remember feeling the excitement of taking books off the shelf and discovering new things. I loved the smell of the books, taking and flicking through the pages. My favourites were on astronomy, the moon landings and I remember borrowing a black and yellow book named  ‘Codes and ciphers’. My dad like to borrow westerns from our local library and probably read their entire collection of them.

A library provides a sanctuary from the modern world
In our noisy hectic modern day life, full of noise, it can be calming to go into a quiet space and just read. It’s almost like a place of worship. At the Gladstone Library reading room you will experience the true meaning of silence!

The Gladstone Library

Old bricks and mortar have power.
Many libraries have a long tradition, and simply going into these buildings will inspire you and will change your perspective on things. At Chetham’s library in Manchester you can sit in the exact spot where Friedrich Engels wrote books on the working classes which would go on to change the course of the 20th century.

Libraries are symbols of philanthropy.
Many libraries are the legacy of philanthropists, many of them wealthy individuals who decided to spend their money on libraries in order to help their community. John Rylands was one example and so was Andrew Carniegie. Thanks to his generosity hundreds of Carnegie libraries were built across the United States, Britain and Ireland and many of them are still in use today. I’ll be looking at some examples of Carnegie Libraries including rathmines library in Dublin, Didsbury Withington and and Chorlton Libraries in Manchester, and in Liverpool Toxteth and West Derby. There are hundreds more up and down the country.

Sir Duncan Rice Library, Aberdeen

Modern-day libraries are striking pieces of architecture.
Some of my favourite modern libraries are the library of Birmingham, the Sir Duncan Rice Library in Aberdeen and Liverpool Central Library which has a futuristic modern extension. In the video I’ll be looking especially at the Sir Duncan Rice library as well as three very interesting post-war libraries in Berlin.

Libraries offer lots of services and benefits not just books.
Today libraries have diversified what they offer: You can surf the Internet, get training, apply for a job gain new skills and qualifications, have things printed or take one to one tuition.

Libraries are under threat.
But despite all that they do and the benefits they offer, libraries are under threat in many parts of the UK. Due to the austerity policies of central government, local authorities are having to close libraries because of budget cuts. This is true in Greater Manchester, Liverpool and many other places around Britain.

Everton Library inscription

Everton Library, Liverpool

While millions  are being spent on new office and residential developments, I think it’s a scandal that beautiful old buildings such as Everton Library are standing empty and neglected. A friends group are doing what they can to save the building, but funding and support are needed. Surely it should be possible for even small percentage of the millions spent on these developments to help restore libraries. The closure of libraries reduces peoples opportunities and works exactly against what Andrew Carnegie, William Gladstone and others were trying to achieve. I’m sure they would be horrified if they could see what has happened to some libraries in recent years.

Libraries are being brought back to life.
But there are some examples of regeneration and renewal. In West Derby, Liverpool, Heritage lottery funding has been secured for the renovation of a unique and magnificent library originally funded by Andrew Carnegie. It will reopen as a centre providing services for the local community.

Please visit a library.
Many people take libraries are granted. Some people have never set foot inside one. I hope after watching this some people will make more use of libraries and and perhaps go and visit some of the libraries I’ve highlighted here. Do libraries have a future? Yes of course they do. And my closing words are: Long live libraries!

Currently in pre-production. Release date: 2020

Das atemberaubende „Museum of the Moon“ von Luke Jerram – German version

Ausstellung des Mondes - Deutsche Version


Ich besuchte in Liverpool die Anglikanische Kathedrale und habe dort den Mond gesehen! Nicht den wirklichen, sondern einen verkleinerten Mond, der ein Fünfhunderttausendtel des echten Mondes ist.

Dieser Mond befand sich im Nordteil der Kathedrale. Beim Betreten der Kathedrale ist der Effekt atemberaubend. Da, vor dir, schwebt eine ziemlich genaue Repräsentation des Mondes, mit viel Anmut und einer hypnotischen Kraft.

Ich war gefesselt, genau so wie die vielen Besucher. Sie fotografierten und machten Selfies. Sie saßen auf den Stufen an beiden Seiten und schauten gebannt den Mond an. Sie bewegten sich um ihn herum, lagen auf dem Boden und schauten zu ihm hinauf.

Die „Exhibition of the Moon“ ist ein Kunstwerk von Luke Jerram. Für mich aber ist das Faszinierende an dieser Repräsentation des Mondes, dass es ein Foto ist, und zwar eine dreidimensionale Fotomontage. Grundsätzlich ist es eine Sphäre mit einer großen Fotomontage der Oberfläche des Mondes, die darauf gedruckt wurde.

Man kann viele Informationen über Luke Jerram und seinen erstaunlichen Mond auf der Webseite ‘Museum of the Moon’ finden. Ich würde die BBC-Dokumentarsendung besonders empfehlen. Der Mond wurde schon an vielen Orten ausgestellt: Tintern Abbey Wales, ein Schwimmbad in Rennes, Frankreich, die Commonwealth Games in Australien uvm.

Exhibition of the Moon at Liverpool Cathedral 30 May 2018

Dieser ‘Kunstmond’ hat eine magische Präsenz, aber eigentlich er ist nicht anders als ein Luftballon, ähnlich einem Wetterballon, aber mit gedruckten Bildern darauf. Luke Jerram hat die bestehende Technologie genutzt, um etwas ganz Einmaliges zu schaffen.

Der Mond besteht aus gebogenen Ausschnitten, die jeweils mit fotografischen Bildern vom Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter bedruckt sind. Die Teile wurden in eine Sphäre zusammengeknüpft und geklebt, die dann aufgeblasen und von oben aufgehängt wurde.  Die Sphäre ist von innen beleuchtet.

Für mich sieht die „Exhibition of the Moon“ am besten später am Abend aus, wenn das Licht der Sonne allmählich nachlässt.  Dann könnte man sich vorstellen, dass man in der Mondumlaufbahn hängt und die Mondoberfläche aus hunderten von Kilometern beobachtet.

Es ist interessant, die Oberfläche des Mondes aus der Nähe zu betrachten, obwohl es nicht möglich ist, ihn anzufassen. Er hängt so hoch, dass es nicht möglich ist, ihn mit der Hand zu berühren.

Es ist noch erstaunlicher, die sogenannte ‘dunkle Seite’ zu sehen, die Seite, die wir nicht sehen können. Diese fremde Seite ist fast ausschließlich mit Kratern übersät, während sich auf der vertrauten Seite die markanten dunkleren ‘Seen’ befinden. Daneben gibt es unzählige Krater und sogar Krater innerhalb von Kratern.

Einer der Pfarrer der Kathedrale zeigte den Besuchern die genaue Position des Apollo-11-Landeortes. Ich habe genau hingeguckt, aber ich habe die Überreste der Mission nicht gesehen! Sie wären natürlich viel zu klein.

Jeder Zentimeter repräsentiert fünf Kilometer auf der Mondoberfläche. Wenn man mit dem Daumen darauf drücken könnte, würde man eine Fläche decken, die so groß ist wie ein Flughafen mittlerer Größe.

Luke Jerram's Exhibition of the Moon artwork at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral with grand interior arch

Ich wollte nur etwa eine halbe Stunde dort verbringen, aber ich blieb drei Stunden lang. Es war wunderschön, den Mond in einem Dom ausgestellt zu sehen. Die Gebete in der Kathedrale schienen passend.

Einige Beobachtungen: Dieser Mond wird von innen ohne dunkle Bereiche beleuchtet, aber zu jeder Zeit befindet sich nur etwa die Hälfte des echten Mondes im Sonnenlicht. Der Rest ist im Schatten.

Der Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter untersuchte die Mondoberfläche aus der Umlaufbahn und zeichnete die Bilder zu verschiedenen Zeiten auf. Aus diesem Grund haben einige der Krater den Schatten auf der linken Seite und andere in der Nähe auf der rechten Seite.

Dadurch sehen wir die merkwürdigen Mondkrater-Illusion, bei der die Krater konvex statt konkav aussehen. Das ist keine Kritik und wahrscheinlich werden es nicht viele Leute bemerkt haben.

Was die Illusion wirklich verbessern würde, wäre, wenn die Kugel rundum, also auch oben und unten durchgehend wäre, ohne sichtbare Verbindungen.
Es wäre auch großartig, wenn die Kugel schweben würde – ich glaube, Luke Jerram arbeitet daran und ich kann es kaum erwarten, den schwebenden, mit Helium gefüllten Mond zu sehen, wenn er fertig ist.

Es ist künstlerisch, es ist lehrreich, es ist wissenschaftlich.

Alles in allem ist es eines der besten Dinge, die ich seit langem gesehen habe. Es bietet viele Möglichkeiten für fotografische Experimente.

The Exhibition of the Moon by Luke Jerram at Liverpool Cathedral - stereoscopic pair

Lassen Sie mich vorerst nur sagen, dass ich dieses Kunstwerk atemberaubend fand. Ich bin mit den Mondlandungen aufgewachsen und habe selbst unzählige Fotos vom Mond gemacht.

Immer wenn ich sehe, wie er am Himmel aufsteigt, hat er immer noch einen starken visuellen Effekt auf mich. Das kommt wahrscheinlich aus der Zeit der Mondschüsse während meiner Kindheit.

Ich ging am Donnerstagabend, der letzten Nacht, zu einem weiteren Besuch zurück. Ich habe es geschafft, um 9.45 Uhr dorthin zu gelangen – es gab eine lange Warteschlange.

Bald waren wir drinnen und ich genoss diese letzten Momente mit dem Mond. Um 10:30 las der Pfarrer ein besonderes Gebet und wir rezitierten das Vaterunser.

Und dann war es Zeit zu gehen und die Sicherheitsbeamten der Kathedrale trieben uns zur Tür.

An der Eingangstür schaute ich ein letztes Mal zum Mond zurück und ging dann unter den Dämmerungshimmel von Liverpool hinaus. Ich konnte den echten Mond nicht sehen, da es zu viele Wolken gab.

Es gibt eigentlich mehrere Monde, die in der Welt auf Tournee sind. Vielleicht kommt einer der Monde zu einem Ausstellungsort in der Nähe von Ihnen.

Ich hoffe, Sie haben die Gelegenheit dieses unglaubliche, erstaunliche und faszinierende Kunstwerk zu sehen und zu fotografieren. Es ist im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes „awesome“, das heißt: fantastisch, beeindruckend, Ehrfurcht gebietend.


The Exhibition of the Moon by Luke Jerram at Liverpool Cathedral - with cathedral window

Poppies in the UK – Remembrance, tradition and controversy – English version

Poppies in the UK - English version


Many people in the UK wear poppies as a symbol of remembrance for the victims of war, especially the fallen soldiers of both world wars.

In the weeks before the 11th November, poppies (small paper flowers) are sold in shops, shopping centres, stations and other public places. People take a poppy and give a donation. The money goes to charities like the Royal British Legion, who support war veterans

People wear poppies on their clothes. Larger poppies can also be seen on buildings and cars. The poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ was written by the Canadian Lieutenant John McCrae. In the poem, the poppy is a reminder of the blood that was shed by the soldiers.

On Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday in November) poppy wreaths and wooden crosses are laid at cenotaphs all over the country. At 11 o’clock, two minutes silence is held. The eleventh day of the eleventh month is Armistice Day, the day of the cessation of hostilities. On this day at 11 o’clock, people also observe two minutes silence.

In 2014 thousands of ceramic poppies were placed at the Tower of London. The artwork was taken to other places including St George’s Hall in Liverpool.The poppy is recognised everywhere and is worn by many people, including famous personalities. There are controversies, however. Pacifists don’t want to wear the red poppy. For them, the red poppy is a symbol of militarisation. They prefer a white poppy.

Some organisations – for instance FIFA – have banned the wearing of poppies as they see it as a political statement. Footballers and fans have protested against this.Whether red or white, there’s no doubt that the poppy will continue to exist as a symbol of remembrance of war and conflict.

Poppies - Mohnblumen, Westminster Abbey


Mohnblumen in GB – Erinnerung, Tradition und Kontroverse – Deutsche Version

Mohnblumen in GB - Deutsche Version


Viele Menschen in Großbritannien tragen Mohnblumen als Symbol des Gedenkens an die Opfer von Kriegen, besonders die gefallenen Soldaten der beiden Weltkriege.

In den Wochen vor dem 11. November werden Poppies (kleine Papierblumen) in Geschäften, Einkaufszentren, Bahnhöfen und anderen öffentlichen Orten verteilt.

Man nimmt eine Mohnblume und gibt eine Spende. Das Geld geht an Wohlfahrtsorganisationen wie z.B. der Royal British Legion, die Kriegsveteranen unterstützt.

Die Leute stecken sich die Mohnblume an die Kleider. Man sieht größere Mohnblumen auch auf Gebäuden und Autos.

Das Gedicht ‘In Flanders Fields’ wurde von dem kanadischen Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae geschrieben. Im Gedicht erinnert die Mohnblüte an das vergossene Blut der Soldaten.

Am Gedenksonntag (der zweite Sonntag im November) werden Mohnblumenkränze und Holzkreuze an Cenotaphs (Scheingräber) überall im Land niedergelegt.

Um 11 Uhr wird für zwei Minuten geschwiegen. Der elfte Tag des elften Monats ist Armistice Day, der Tag des Waffenstillstandes. Auch an diesem Tag gibt es überall eine zweiminütige Schweigepause.

Am Tower of London wurde 2014 als Kunstwerk tausende von Keramik-Poppies aufgestellt. Die Kunstaktion wurde auch an andere Orte gebracht, darunter St Georges Hall in Liverpool.

Die Mohnblume ist überall anerkannt und wird von vielen Leuten, auch berühmten Persönlichkeiten, getragen.

Es gibt jedoch Kontroversen. Pazifisten wollen die rote Mohnblume nicht tragen.

Für sie ist die rote Poppy ein Symbol der Militarisierung. Sie ziehen eine weiße Mohnblume vor.

Einige Organisationen – zum Beispiel die FIFA – haben das Tragen der Mohnblüte verboten, da sie das als politische Aussage ansehen.

Fußballer und Fans haben dagegen protestiert.

Ob rot oder weiß wird die Mohnblute ohne Zweifel als Symbol der Erinnerung an die Opfer von Kriegen und Konflikten weiterbestehen.

Poppies - Mohnblumen, Westminster Abbey