While Janet Mendelsohn was discovering Balsall Heath, her then partner Richard P Rogers was following young artist Frank Cook from Ladywood back-to-backs to a studio at MAC and on to art-school in London.
His images, showing in Birmingham for the first time since they were taken fifty years ago, offer a panorama of the city at a time of disorienting change, covering everything from slum clearances and traveller camps to Saturday afternoon at the Hawthorns. They also document the Midlands Arts Centre in its early years; pottery workshops, music rehearsals, chess games and discos. Accompanying the photographs are Frank's own reflections from the time on his journey between these very different worlds, part of a conversation about social mobility and the arts which continues today.
With thanks to Susan Meiselas and the Cadbury Research Library.
See also: Ghost Streets of Balsall Heath
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