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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Other Coronation

Clément Chéroux


Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs of the crowds gathered to witness the coronation of King George VI in 1937 capture the British public at a unique historical moment

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The coronation of George VI on 12 May 1937 was one of the biggest media events of the interwar period. While other photographers focused on the new King, his family and the ceremonial splendour of the day, Henri Cartier-Bresson turned his lens on the crowds that gathered in the streets of London to watch the pageantry.

In a witty reversal of the expected order of proceedings, he shows us ordinary people of all ages and walks of life, some climbing on monuments or each other’s shoulders, others straining to get a better view with cardboard periscopes and mirrors on sticks. A few even slump on the ground, the festivities having proved too much. Presented alongside contemporary news clippings from around the world, these remarkable images reflect Cartier-Bresson’s unmistakeable photographic eye and capture the British public at a unique historical moment.

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'Two coronations ago, Henri Cartier-Bresson was there to capture all the action. This charming book captures the ordinary folk at the heart of it all … a witty and warm look at those who made the journey to celebrate'
Amateur Photographer

'The subjects of The Other Coronation give a remarkable glimpse of the smaller dramas behind the great imperial pageant'
Daily Telegraph

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 31.5 x 23.0 cm

Extent: 128 pp

Illustrations: 100

Publication date: 9 May 2023

ISBN: 9780500027240

About the Author

Clément Chéroux is director of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris. He has also held senior curatorial positions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.