2007 - No Such Thing as Society

No Such Thing As Society: Photography in Britain 1967-1987

Curated by David Allan Mellor, Professor of Art history at the University of Sussex, No Such Thing as Society documented British photography from the 1960s to the late 1980s. Drawing on the collections of the Arts Council and British Council, it gave a radically new picture of these turbulent decades.

The early 1970s saw the emergance of new approaches to photography, which focused on social realism. For example, Tony Ray-Jones captured the comedies of social class and human behaviour within the constraints of British culture. The human cost of de-industrialisation in the late 1970s and the 1980s were central themes of documentary photographers of the period and are demonstrated by the work of Chris Kilip and Paul Graham. The social disasters captured in their work contrasted sharply with Martin Parr's colour photographs of holiday makers in New Brighton.


Tour details

Aberystwyth Art Gallery, Aberystwyth (15 Mar - 27 Apr 2008)

Tullie House, Carlisle (10 May - 13 Jul 2008)

Art Gallery, Leeds (19 Jul - 31 Aug 2008)

The Exchange, Penzance (12 Sep - 1 Nov 2008)

Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (Poland) (14 Nov 2008 - 4 Jan 2009)

Arbetets Museum, Norrkoping (Sweden) (31 Jan - 31 May 2009)

National Museum and Gallery, Cardiff (4 Jul - 4 Oct 2009)

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle (31 Oct 2009 - 24 Mar 2010)



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.