Woman Reading a Possession Order

Photograph
1997 (made)
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Tom Hunter's work often depicts groups of people with housing problems, including squatters, council house tenants and caravan-dwellers, in a positive light. This photograph is from a series of images of a squatter's community in Hackney, East London. It won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998 and has been exhibited widely. The composition echoes Vermeer's painting Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window, 1657.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitlePersons Unknown (series title)
Materials and Techniques
Dye destruction print (Ilfochrome)
Brief Description
Hunter, Tom. 'Woman Reading a Possession Order' from the series 'Persons Unknown', 1997. Dye destruction print.
Physical Description
Photograph of a woman reading a possession order at a window. A baby is lying in the foreground.
Dimensions
  • Image height: 591mm
  • Image width: 492mm
  • Frame height: 600mm
  • Frame length: 408mm
Gallery Label
Making It Up: Photographic Fictions (2008) Hunter’s depictions of contemporary people living in precarious urban conditions often make reference to historical paintings. He based this composition, from a series on London squatters, on Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window (1657–9) by Johannes Vermeer. The copy of the actual eviction notice that accompanies the photograph sharply asserts the reality behind the carefully staged picture. Marta Weiss
Credit line
Purchased through the Cecil Beaton Royalties Fund
Object history
'Woman Reading a Possession Order is from the series 'Persons Unknown', 1997. The image appears with the original summons. The series was produced by Hunter during his final year at the Royal College of Art.



Historical significance: This photograph is from a series based on a squatting community in Hackney, London. It won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998 and has been exhibited widely. The composition echoes the painting by Jan Vermeer 'Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window', 1657.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Tom Hunter's work often depicts groups of people with housing problems, including squatters, council house tenants and caravan-dwellers, in a positive light. This photograph is from a series of images of a squatter's community in Hackney, East London. It won the John Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998 and has been exhibited widely. The composition echoes Vermeer's painting Woman Reading a Letter at an Open Window, 1657.
Collection
Accession Number
E.407-1998

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record createdSeptember 15, 2003
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