Val Williams

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Val Williams is a British curator and author who has become an authority on British photography. She is the Professor of the History and Culture of Photography at the London College of Communication, part of the University of the Arts London,[1] and was formerly the Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Hasselblad Center.[2]

Williams has curated the work of Martin Parr[3] and also the influential Tate Britain show How We Are: Photographing Britain.[4][5] She has also written on the representation of women, and work by women photographers. Her photographic archive is held at the Library of Birmingham.[6]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Books by Williams[edit]

  • Women Photographers.
    • Women Photographers: The Other Observers, 1900 to the Present. London: Virago, 1986.
    • The Other Observers: Women Photographers in Britain 1900 to the Present. London Virago, 1994. ISBN 9781853814204.
  • Ida Kar: Photographer, 1908-1974. London Virago, 1990. ISBN 978-1853811043.
  • ..Who's looking at the family?. London: Barbican Art Gallery, 1994. ISBN 9780946372324. "Catalogue of an exhibition held at the Barbican Art Gallery, 26th May - 4th Sept., 1994" "an exhibition selected by Val Williams, Carol Brown and Brigitte Lardinois."
  • Warworks: Women, Photography and the Iconography of War. London: Virago, 1994. ISBN 9781853815911.
  • The Dead. By Williams and Greg Hobson. Bradford: National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, 1995. ISBN 0-948489-15-4. With essays by Williams ("Secret Places"), Hobson ("A Horrible Exhibition"), Elizabeth Edwards ("Seeing How Others Die") and Thomas Lynch ("Embalming Father"); and photographs by Nobuyoshi Araki, Sue Fox, Kasimir Zgorecki, Franco Zecchin, Thomas Werde, Belinda Whiting, Rudolph Schafer, Leslie Hakim-Dowek, Krass Clement, Donigan Cumming, Hans Danuser, Louis Jammes, Max Jourdan, Pete Max Kandhola, Ann Mandelbaum, Bastienne Schmidt, Andres Serrano, John Benjamin Stone, Clare Strand, Annet van der Voort, Nick Waplington, Elizabeth Williams, Neil Winokur, and Xavier Zimbardo. Published to accompany a touring exhibition starting at the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, October 1995 – January 1996, curated by Williams and Hobson.[7]
  • Street dreams: contemporary Indian studio photographs from the Satish Sharma Collection. London: Booth-Clibborn, in association with Shoreditch Biennale, 1997. ISBN 9781861540713. "Published in conjunction with the ... exhibition ... which opened at Standpoint Gallery, London as part of the 1997 Shoreditch Biennale exhibitions programme".
  • Martin Parr
  • Derek Ridgers: When We Were Young: Club and Street Portraits 1978–1987. Brighton: Photoworks, 2005. ISBN 978-1903796139. Photographs by Derek Ridgers, text by Val Williams. About the emergence of new style cultures in London in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[n 1]
  • Daniel Meadows: Edited Photographs from the 70s and 80s. Brighton: Photoworks, 2011. ISBN 1-903796-46-6. Authored by Val Williams. Edited by Val Williams and Gordon MacDonald.
  • When Photography Really Works. New York: Barron's Educational Series; London: Quintessence, 2012. ISBN 9780764147890.
  • What Makes Great Photographs: 80 Masterpieces Explained.

Books edited by Williams[edit]

  • Daniel Meadows. National Portraits: Photographs from the 1970s. Edited by Williams. Salford: Viewpoint Photography Gallery; Derby: Montage Gallery, 1997. ISBN 0-901952-81-8.
  • Look at Me: Fashion and Photography in Britain 1960-1997. Edited by Williams. London: British Council, 1998. ISBN 978-0863553899. Catalogue of a touring exhibition curated by Williams and Brett Rodgers.
  • Magnum Ireland. London: Thames & Hudson, 2005. ISBN 9780500543030. Edited by Williams with Brigitte Lardinois.
  • Anna Fox Photographs 1983–2007. Brighton: Photoworks, 2005. ISBN 978-1903796221. Edited by Williams. With texts by David Chandler, Val Williams, Jason Evans and Mieke Bal.[n 2]
  • How We Are: Photographing Britain from the 1840s to the Present. Edited and with texts by Williams and Susan Bright. London: Tate, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85437-714-2. With essays by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr, and by Kevin Jackson.
  • Glyndebourne, a Visual History. London: Quercus, 2009. ISBN 9781847248657. Edited by Williams and Brigitte Lardinois. Includes an essay by George Christie.


  1. ^ The publication is reproduced here within Photography and the Archive Research Centre's site.
  2. ^ The publication is reproduced here within Photography and the Archive Research Centre's site.


  1. ^ "Professor Val Williams". University of the Arts London. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Professor Val Williams". Photography and the Archive Research Centre, University of the Arts London. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ Erica Dye (15 May 2013). "America in Color". New Yorker. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  4. ^ "How We Are: Photographing Britain". Tate. 15 March 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  5. ^ "How We Are: Photographing Britain". Creative Review blog. 22 May 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  6. ^ "The Val Williams Archive goes to the Library of Birmingham", Birmingham City Council. Accessed 8 January 2015.
  7. ^ "The Dead by Val Williams & Greg Hobson (1995)". Manchester School of Art. Retrieved 21 January 2016.