Tristan's Gallery

Humphrey Spender

Humphrey Spender, brother of the poet Stephen Spender, was born in London in 1910. He spent a year at Freiburg University before enrolling at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. He is known as a painter, architect, designer and mural painter. For a time he worked as a photographer for the magazine Picture Post under the nickname Lensman. He was an official photographer for the Mass Observation movement, taking photos of daily life in working class communities, and for the War Office. His most famous photographs are of Bolton, given the name 'Worktown' by the sociologists and photographers who made a record of life there. In 1945 he won a competition for textiles designs where Henry Moore was one of the judges. After the war he worked as a freelance in various disciplines and was a winner four times of the Design Council's Design Awards. Spender died in March 2005.