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Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 September, 11:00am




Philip Larkin pursued photography with something of the zeal he brought to his other enthusiasms (poetry, jazz, novel writing), experimenting with delayed action shutters, cropping and enlarging images and gathering his pictures into thematically ordered albums. This exhibition was curated by John Osborne, distinguished writer and co-founder of the Philip Larkin Society; and has generously been loaned to us by the Hull History Centre. It combines family snaps of Larkin's childhood with examples of mature forays into portraiture, especially of his women companions and literary friends such as Kingsley Amis and John Wain. There are landscapes and cityscapes, images redolent of the British hinterland - weedy pavements, railway platforms and 'docks where channel boats come sidling'. And there are many self portraits. A good number of the images are striking but even the lesser photos testify to the passion for photography that informs such poems as 'Whatever Happened?', 'Wild Oats' and 'Lines on a Young Lady's Photograph Album'. There is even a snapshot of the hedgehog famously memorialized in 'The Mower'.


VISIT THE EXHIBITION (Thursday 12 September - Tuesday 24 September)

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 8:30am - 4pm | Wednesday - CLOSED | Saturday 9am - 3pm | Sunday 10am - 3pm
The exhibition is also open during evening events for concert ticket holders.
Please note that we occasionally have to close the foyer exhibition space for private hires; please check this page before visiting. Thank you.


CURATOR TALK: Saturday 14 September, 11:00am - 12:00pm

A discussion on the prints in our Larkin photography exhibition with Mark Haworth-Booth, chaired by Kate Romano

All welcome, no need to book 


Mark Haworth-Booth served as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1970-2004 and, as senior curator of photographs, helped to build up its great collection of photography.
 He is now an Honorary Research Fellow at the V&A and a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art. He has curated many exhibitions and acted as a consultant on the BBC’s acclaimed television series The Genius of Photography and he curated, with Jeu de Paume, Paris and the National
Portrait Gallery in London, a centenary retrospective of the pioneering
 photographer Camille Silvy (1834-1910). A widely published award-winning writer and researcher, he served as the first Visiting Professor of Photography at the University of the Arts London and in 2005 was appointed OBE for his services to museums. 


THE SUNDAY SESSIONS: Sunday 15 September, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Drop in for a quiet hour, listening to recordings of Philip Larkin reading 26 of his poems whilst perusing his photographs in the exhibition. The Sunday Sessions consists of two tapes recorded by Larkin in Hull in 1980, reportedly on a Sunday, with sound engineer John Weeks. The tapes contain some of Larkin's best known poems and were lost for over two decades. Since their rediscovery, they have been the subject of widespread media attention.

All welcome, drop-in, no need to book