Robert Mapplethorpe in 'Unearthed: Photography's Roots', Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

8 December 2020 - 30 August 2021


Three photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe from his iconic Flower series will be included in the group exhibition Unearthed: Photography's Roots at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London from 8 December 2020 - 30 August 2021.


The first major photography exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery, Unearthed traces the rich history of the medium through depictions of nature, with over 100 works by 41 leading international artists. Unearthed: Photography's Roots will reveal the fascinating technical processes and narratives behind these images, showcasing innovations in photography by key figures including William Henry Fox Talbot and Imogen Cunningham as well as several overlooked photographers including rare works by Japanese artist, Kazumasa Ogawa and the English gardener, Charles Jones. Jones’ striking modernist photographs of plants remained unknown for 20 years after his death, until they were discovered in a trunk at Bermondsey Market in 1981.


The exhibition opens with some of the first known Victorian images by Talbot, with his experiments with paper negatives, and will also feature many works by one of the first female photographers Anna Atkins. Focusing on botany and science throughout, themes range from typology and form to experiments with colour and modernism. The show culminates with more recent advancements in photography, from the glamour and eroticism of artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Nobuyoshi Araki, to experimentations with still life compositions by Richard Learoyd.



Dulwich Picture Gallery

Gallery Rd


London SE21 7AD