What's your favourite?

Jonathan Brown, guest curator of our current exhibition of photography by John Tarlton, asks why we are compelled to pick a favourite. (I (Alison) have chosen mine to illlustrate his post!)

What’s your favourite?

One of the striking things about the exhibition of John Tarlton photographs we have on this summer is how quickly everybody finds a favourite picture. Even before the displays were fully mounted staff and volunteers at MERL were saying ‘I really like the farm bailiff at home’ … or the old wildfowler … or the chaps in the pub …

Fred Digby a cowman/hairdresser cutting hair in a farmyard, Fairstead, Essex (1940s/1950s). Ref: P TAR PH1/3/10/9/209/1
Fred Digby a cowman/hairdresser cutting hair in a farmyard, Fairstead, Essex (1940s/1950s). Ref: P TAR PH1/3/10/9/209/1

So it has continued with visitors to the exhibition. I did a ‘meet the curator ‘ session a couple of week ago and we were at it again, the group and I, picking particular photos that stood out for us.

There’s a warmth to John Tarlton’s photography that draws you in. He over-rides our preconceptions and prejudices. You might not be particularly interested in wildfowling, say, as a subject, but before long you find yourself looking at the photograph and saying, ‘I really like that’, even, perhaps ‘that’s my favourite’.

I’ll be taking another ‘Meet the curator’ tour on Saturday 3 August at 2.30pm. Come along and share a bit of the background to John Tarlton and his photography – choose your favourite, and enjoy tea and cake afterwards! Details are on our website

In the meantime, why not have a look at the Tarlton images on our Pinterest board (sorry the links to our database aren’t working at the moment, but you can still see the pictures) and let us know which one’s your favourite?

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0 thoughts on “What's your favourite?”

  1. My favourite is Mr L.G. Kinsella, with his big grin and excellent moustache. He makes me smile every time I walk past.

    (A close-run second is the lady in the village shop.)

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