On 21st October 2020, the celebrated photographer, Frank Horvat passed away at the age of 92.
Frank was born in April 1928 in the Croatian town of Opatija (then part of Italy and known as Abbazia), into a family of Jewish, Central European descent. He discovered photography in his teens and swapped his stamp collection in order to obtain his first camera.
Frank would go on to live in numerous countries including India, the USA, England and Switzerland. It was in France that he would finally settle however, establishing himself as an acclaimed fashion photographer. Despite this speciality, Frank was also a skilled photojournalist and, throughout the 1950s, he snapped a series of evocative photographs on the streets of London.
To celebrate Frank Horvat’s long and distinguished career, I would like to share some of these wonderful images here with you.
Man on London Bridge, looking towards Tower Bridge, 1955
With the dockyard cranes visible on either side of the Thames, this image perfectly captures the atmosphere of 1950s London. Notice too that this is old London Bridge, which was removed in the late 1960s to make way for its modern-day counterpart.
Boxing Lads, 1955
These young pugilists appear to have had their photographs taken on Culvert Road, Battersea.
London Policeman, 1959
The traffic looked far less severe in 1950s London (although perhaps this Bobby was just very good at his job!)
Lobb's Shoe Shop, 1959
London Snooker Hall, 1954
Salvation Army Ladies, 1959
The London Underground, 1955
City Gents, 1955-59
If you worked in London’s financial Square Mile during the 1950s, a bowler hat was a must…
Fashion Shoot, 1955
The Cafe Royal, 1955
Lovers in Green Park, 1959
Veteran Car Run, 1954
The RAC club has held a veteran car run (veteran cars classified as those built before 1905) from London to Brighton every November since 1947. Sadly, this year’s had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.
It’s interesting to note the long line of cars parked all along Piccadilly… such a set-up would be unthinkable in 21st century London.
Club Row Pet Market, 1955
For many years, Club Row (close to the northern end of Brick Lane) in London’s East End held a regular pet market. It continued until 1983, when new laws regarding selling live animals on the street were introduced.
Dancing in Soho, 1959
Self Portrait in a London Market, 1955
Frank Horvat, 1928-2020