Balancing a Ship Propeller thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Photography Centre, Room 100, The Bern and Ronny Schwartz Gallery

Balancing a Ship Propeller

Photograph
1956 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Maurice Broomfield (1916-2010) worked to photograph the changing face of British manufacturing industries during the 1950s and 1960s. His photographs are recognized for their uniquely modern design elements, humanist strain, and their contribution to the documentation of the rebirth of British industry in the post war era.
listen Talking photography: Maurice Broomfield Listen to photographer Maurice Broomfield (1916 – 2010) talk about some of his most iconic industrial photographs, taken inside Britain's factories in the 1950s and '60s.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver gelatin print
Brief Description
Photograph by Maurice Broomfield, 'Balancing a Ship Propeller', 1956, gelatin silver print, printed about 1995
Physical Description
A silver gelatin print of a worker handling a ship's propeller
Dimensions
  • Paper height: 606mm
  • Paper width: 504mm
Marks and Inscriptions
Signed Maurice Broomfield
Gallery Label
  • Maurice Broomfield: Industrial Sublime, Gallery 100 (2021-2022) Balancing a Ship Propeller and page from job reference book 1956–60 Broomfield noted, ‘This, I feel, is one of the most beautiful and tactile pieces of industrial sculpture …. The buffing marks, I thought, added a lot to the picture. They were also final signatures on a work of industrial art.’ He also described the worker’s skill: ‘The correct pitch of a propeller is vital for the comfort of passengers on prestigious cruise ships. The prospect of having one’s cocktail continuously shaken is enough for some to cancel the trip.’ Balancing a Ship Propeller Bull’s Metal and Marine Shipyard, Yoker, Glasgow, Scotland 1956 Gelatin silver print, printed 1995 Museum no. E.3733-2007 Page from job reference book About 1960 Gelatin silver prints Given by the artist Museum no. AAD/2010/13/188
  • Broomfield made his name as the premier photographer of post-war British industry. From the 1950s until the 70s he was regularly commissioned by companies such as English Electric, Ford, Shell and Philips. Broomfield sought to elevate the figure of the worker. Through careful composition and strong lighting his photographs create a sense of the drama and atmosphere of labour. As manufacturing has turned to cheaper markets overseas, these photographs serve as a reminder of an important moment in Britain's industrial history.(20/03/2012)
Credit line
Given by the artist
Subjects depicted
Places Depicted
Summary
Maurice Broomfield (1916-2010) worked to photograph the changing face of British manufacturing industries during the 1950s and 1960s. His photographs are recognized for their uniquely modern design elements, humanist strain, and their contribution to the documentation of the rebirth of British industry in the post war era.
Associated Objects
Other Number
M1014-1 - Negative number
Collection
Accession Number
E.3733-2007

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 8, 2009
Record URL