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Kurt Hutton: The Quiet Pioneer
Text by John Chillingworth and Colin Wilkinson
Duotone: 290 x 220mm portrait + 132pp
More often than not, when discussion turns to the pioneering days of modern photojournalism, a number of names instantly spring to mind; Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Doisneau and Kertesz are just a handful who are synonymous with the genre. However, arguably one of the founding fathers of reportage is inevitably missing from the list. A man who was at the very forefront of this photographic revolution and who, like those mentioned above, did much to change the world of photography. Kurt Hutton – arguably every bit as influential and ground-breaking as his counterparts – did much to usher in the new era of photo-documentary and was one of an elite band of photojournalists to first utilize the Leica in Britain, fundamentally changing how we viewed our world in the process.
The ‘revelatory experience’ – when one comes across Kurt’s imagery for the first time – seems to be a regular occurrence and happened again recently with none other than the Leica company itself – needless to say, an exhibition is now touring Leica galleries across Europe as a result. It is baffling why Hutton is not mentioned in the same breath as those ‘greats’ listed above but after a hiatus of some 70 years since the last ‘Kurt Hutton’ book, we can at least take another small step in establishing Hutton as one of the true giants of 20th century photojournalism.