Eric de Maré

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Eric de Maré (1910 in London – 2002) was a British photographer and author, described as one of the greatest British architectural photographers.[1]

Eric de Maré
Eric de Maré.jpg
Born 10 September 1910
Died January 22, 2002(2002-01-22) (aged 91)
Painswick, Gloucestershire
Occupation Architectural photographer, Photographer, Author
Years active 1933-2002

de Maré was born in London on the 10 September 1910, the second son of Swedish parents, Bror Edward August de Mare (a timber broker) and his wife Ellen Ingrid (née Tellander).[2] His younger brother was the psychotherapist Patrick de Maré.[3] He was educated at St Paul’s School in London before becoming a student of the Architectural Association in 1928. Following graduation in 1933, he went to Scandinavia to travel and work. A number of his later publications focus on Sweden. He was a supporter of the Social Credit movement.[4] He married Marjorie Vanessa (née Vallance) in 1936.[5]

On returning to England, he joined the Architectural Press and became the acting editor of the Architects Journal, in 1943. In 1942, de Maré had published his first book, titled Britain Rebuilt. The subsequent years saw the publication of further books and articles within the architectural press. Many of the subjects covered in these works are represented within the collection held by the public English Heritage Archive.

Canals and waterways feature significantly in de Maré’s work. In 1948, he boated a dozen of the English canals during a 600-mile tour, photographing the landscapes, buildings and people he encountered. This journey resulted in a 1949 article for the Architectural Review documenting canal life and buildings. The following year saw the publication of The Canals of England. The book provided an historical and technical description of inland waterways punctuated by de Maré’s photography.

In 1956, he was commissioned to travel throughout England to photograph early industrial sites and buildings. The resulting images were combined with JM Richard’s text in The Functional Tradition in Early Industrial Buildings, which was published by the Architectural Press in 1958. The functional tradition within architecture had received little attention from contemporary architects until this study, but the work coincided with and promoted an increased interest in the qualities of early industrial structures. His work in the 1960s reflected the other end of the industrial spectrum, focussing on modern power generation plants, to which his photographs frequently conferred a sculptural quality.

De Maré died on 22 January 2002, aged 91. The Guardian said that to most architects and architectural historians he was the finest architectural photographer of the mid-20th century.[6] The Telegraph described him as one of the most notable photographers of his time, as well as a prolific author.[7]


  • Eric de Maré, The Canals of England (1950, 1987, ISBN 978-1-84868-160-6, ISBN 0-86299-418-7)
  • Eric de Maré, Bridges of Britain (1954, 1975, 1987, ISBN 0-7134-2925-9)
  • Eric de Maré, London's Riverside (1958)
  • Eric de Maré, City of Westminster; Heart of London (1968)
  • Eric de Maré, Photography (1957) Penguin books
  • Eric de Maré, Photography and Architecture (1961) Penguin books
  • Eric de Maré, Architectural Photography (1975) Penguin books
  • Eric de Maré, Wren's London (1975) ISBN 0-7181-1586-4
  • Eric de Maré, A Matter of Life or Debt (1983) ISBN 0-949667-83-8
  • Higgott, Andrew, Eric de Maré : Photographer, Builder with Light. London : AA Publications, 1990. ISBN 1-870890-28-0
  • Elwall, Robert, Eric De Mare. London : RIBA Publishing, 2000. ISBN 978-1-85946-083-2
  • Eric de Maré, Your book of Paper Folding Fun. Faber and Faber, 1968. ISBN 057108446X


  1. ^ The Times, obituary, Tuesday 5 February 2002
  2. ^
  3. ^ Contemporary Authors, 1974, Gale Research Co., pg 224
  4. ^ Obituary, The Guardian, 4 February 2002
  5. ^ Contemporary Authors, 1974, Gale Research Co., pg 224
  6. ^ Obituary, The Guardian, 4 February 2002
  7. ^ Obituary, The Telegraph, 6 February 2002.

External links[edit]