London Unveiled

great places to visit off the beaten path.

The Photographers’ Gallery ~ the largest public gallery of its kind in London.

The Photographers' Gallery at 16-18 Ramillies Street 2012 (c) Kate Elliot.

The Photographers’ Gallery at 16-18 Ramillies Street 2012 (c) Kate Elliot.

Located at the northern end of Soho, between Carnaby Street and Oxford Street is the wonderful Photographers’ Gallery.  Considered Britain’s leading centre for contemporary photography, the gallery reopened at this location in May 2012.  Previously the gallery was located on Great Newport Street where it was founded in the early 1970s.  Today the new gallery – housed in an early 20th century warehouse – benefits from the work of architects O’Donnell and Tuomey who transformed the space into a modern multi-level gallery perfectly suited to its mission of bringing contemporary photography to the public.

Print Sales (basement floor), 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

Print Sales (basement floor), 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

To cement its position of authority in the world of photographer, Photographers’ Gallery awards the annual Deutsche Borse Prize considered the medium’s equivalent to the Turner.  The entrants are usually exhibited in the spring.

Bookshop (basement floor), 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

Bookshop (basement floor), 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

The Gallery:  There are three floors of gallery space, as well as a cafe, bookshop, educational space and an area selling prints.  There is also a small outside space for periodic displays.  Within this largest public gallery in London dedicated to photography visitors can expect to see the work of new artists as well as those already established in the medium.  Over the years the gallery has been the first to exhibit in England artists including Robert Capa, Sebastiao Salgado and Juergen Teller.

Ground Floor, 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

Ground Floor, 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

Events & Exhibitions:  At any given time there are generally multiple exhibitions occurring.  It appears that most exhibitions last up to 2 months.  For current exhibitions see their website at: 

In addition, there are various events including artist talks, guided tours, and workshops.  The workshops may range from topics such as collecting photography, to using your own camera, to history of photography and to guidance on critiquing the work.  The full calendar and schedule is on their website.

Visiting & Cafe:  Opening hours are daily: 10-6 except Thu: 10-8 and Sun: 11.30-6.  Admission is free.  There is a café on the ground floor, opening at 9:30 on weekdays (otherwise following gallery hours).  It has a changing menu of fresh pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups and cakes from Soho’s Lina Stores.

The Photographers' Gallery at 16-18 Ramillies Street 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

The Photographers’ Gallery at 16-18 Ramillies Street 2012 (c) Dennis Gilbert

Located at:  16 – 18 Ramillies Street, W1F 7LW

Closest Tube:  Oxford Circus

Note: All photographs courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery.

9 comments on “The Photographers’ Gallery ~ the largest public gallery of its kind in London.

  1. Anthony Turi
    September 12, 2013

    I completely agree. I was at The Photographers’ Gallery a few weeks ago and really enjoyed the experience. I can thoroughly recommend a visit.

      September 12, 2013

      thanks for this comment too! I hope other readers follow your recommendation. With the broad range of galleries in London it always surprises me how some of these smaller more focused spaces are missed. all the best, Ian

  2. Wanderlust23
    September 12, 2013

    Looks like a great space inside and out.

      September 12, 2013

      I think so! If you haven’t visited worth stopping in next time you are in this area. thanks for your comment, Ian.

  3. fingknitcoolgal
    September 13, 2013

    I haven’t been to the Photographer’s Gallery since they moved out of their old premises. The new place looks very airly and modern. I shall definitely visit there once the Fashion Week is over.
    I really miss their old gallery and especially their cafe, which was a hidden gem in West End. No matter how crowded outside was, there were always space for one or two at the cafe and their Victoria sponge was ace. Do you remember that time?(^-^)

      September 15, 2013

      I’m not sure I remember eating their Victoria sponge cake! I’ve always liked this gallery and you should check out there new location. Thanks for your comment, Ian

  4. Harriet
    September 17, 2013

    Visited the new gallery’s location and loved it all. That said, I really really miss the old cafe at the old site. For what must have been ten years, whenever my family and I went on a shopping spree to Oxford street, we could never resist popping in to the gallery for an amazing poppyseed tuna roll and the many freshly squeezed juices (and of course to appreciate the photography). Such a shame the lovely guy you ran it wasn’t brought forward to participate in the new site.

      September 17, 2013

      Funny you mention the food… I had another reader (see comments) who loved their Victoria sponge cake at the old site. In the Guardian’s review after the new site opened they said one of the challenges with the original location is it had become more about the cafe than the photography… I wonder where the operator of the original cafe is now! thanks for your comment, Ian

  5. Pingback: Lunch @ Photographer’s Gallery Cafe | twist & turn

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2013 by in Artistic Venues, Westminster and tagged , , , .
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