Mary Evans Picture Library collection: Sefton Samuels
Sefton Samuels is one of Britain’s best photographers, with a career spanning six decades and more than 100 images held in national photographic collections, including the V&A and National Portrait Gallery. His book, Northerners: Portrait of a no-nonsense people was published in 2011, and contains photos of the people and places that Sefton, who was born and still lives in Manchester, describes as bottling the character of the north.
His images fall into the genre of social documentary, a real strength and speciality of Mary Evans Picture Library. Here you’ll find photographs of cross-country running, industrial landscapes, bingo, beer and black pudding, not to mention mining and dog-racing. But there are also portraits of remarkable northerners and those associated with the north such as Alan Bennett, Sir Matt Busby, Nicholas Hytner and Morrissey.
Before turning to photography, Sefton Samuels was a professional jazz drummer, and has produced a significant body of work photographing jazz and classical musicians – intense, dynamic pictures that capture something of the soul of performance.