RAY-JONES, Tony. Tony Ray-Jones 1941-1972. London: Photographic Collections Ltd, (1975).

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(RAY-JONES, Tony). 
Tony Ray-Jones 1941-1972.
London: Photographic Collections Ltd, (1975).

15 gelatin silver photographs (204 × 134 mm / 8 × 5.28 in) dry mounted to 456 × 355 mm / 17.95 × 13.98 in. rag board. Printed posthumously from original negatives and signed by John Benton Harris, numbered in pencil with estate blindstamp to mount and interleaving sheets. Booklet (456 × 355 mm) with text by Peter Turner pp.[16]. Saddle-sewn self wrappers, text in black. Housed in cloth box lettered in brown with matching slipcase; staining to box spine, light wear and soiling to slipcase. Former owner's bookplate in the box. Contents fine in a very good box and slipcase.

Tony Ray-Jones spent some time in America during the early to mid 1960s, training as a graphic designer at Yale and later with Alexey Brodovitch. On returning to England in 1966 he sought to photograph the ‘English Way of life’, in particular how people spent their leisure time. In the October 1968 issue of Creative Camera he made an important statement about his attitude to his photographs of the English:

‘My aim is to communicate something of the spirit and the mentality of the English, their habits and their way of life, the ironies that exist in the way they do things, partly through tradition and daily anachronisms in an honest and descriptive manner, the visual aspect being directed by the content. For me there is something very special and rather humorous about the “English way of life” and I wish to record it from my particular point of view before it becomes more Americanized. We are at an important stage in our history, having in a sense just been reduced to an island or defrocked and, as De Gaulle remarked, left naked. Nudity is perhaps more revealing of personality than a heavily clothed figure.’

A number of these photographs were included in Ray-Jones' first book A Day Off (1974) which like this collection was also issued posthumously.


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