This exhibition of 200 photographs is drawn from the extensive collection of the Archive of Modern Conflict.

The AMC was first established 25 years ago as a repository for vernacular photography and ephemera relating to the First and Second World Wars. It has since grown to a total of eight million images encompassing a plethora of subject matter – not solely defined by war and conflict – collected from diverse sources all over the world.

Curated by AMC Director, Timothy Prus, Collected Shadows offers a glimpse into these extraordinary holdings. This eclectic display includes scientific, astronomical and botanical studies, studio sittings, portraits and private snapshots, press photographs, film stills and aerial photographs from several wars, as well as a rich and unpredictable array of works we would simply have to call art.

Spanning the history of the photographic medium from the mid-1850s to the present day, the exhibition represents a great variety of techniques, from early albumen and hand-tinted silver gelatin prints to the distinctive blue of the cyanotype. The salon-style hang establishes connections between disparate worlds, and encourages viewers to find their own meanings. Through enigmatic groupings that cross time-periods and geographies, certain themes emerge – specifically earth, air, fire and water – creating associations between the elements, the cosmos and humanity.

A Hayward Gallery Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London, organised in collaboration with The Archive of Modern Conflict, London.



Visit here for more information on our school and college offer.


A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by the writer and critic Brian Dillon is available at a special exhibition price.

Photography Policy: please refrain from photographing or filming any work in the exhibition.

Image credit (detail): Commissariat à l’énergie atomique DAM (French), Atomic Trial on Mururoa Atoll, Tahiti, 1970. Courtesy Archive of Modern Conflict, London. All rights reserved.

  1. Exhibitions'

    Resource Room

    Sat 20 Apr - Sat 16 June
    The Edge

    A creative space to spend time with texts and materials related to our exhibitions

    More Info

  2. exhibition tours

    Collected Shadows lunchtime tours

    Thursdays, 1pm
    31st May, 7th June & 14th June 2018
    Andrew Brownsword Gallery

    Weekly tours of the Collected Shadows Exhibition - Upcoming Thursday Lunchtimes!

    More Info

  3. Free artist-led activities

    Family Takeovers

    Saturdays, 10am-1pm
    28 Apr, 26 May & 16 June
    Resource Room

    Resource Room activities led by artist educator Victoria Willmott

    More Info