From Ceràmica Cumella: Shaping Ideas – an exploration of the artistic and scientific innovations emerging from the studio of Toni Cumella – to Frozen Relic: Arctic Works – a series of re-fabricated real world scenarios using millimetre perfect 3D scanning technology to stage and capture transitory moments on location across the world – the AA's year-long exhibition programme casts a wide net across geographies, histories and cultures to investigate the realm and role of architecture and its unique relationship to the school.

Head of Exhibitions

Vanessa Norwood


Exhibitions Project Manager

Lee Regan


Exhibitions Coordinator

Sebastian Craig

Workers, Workplace, Work

AA Bar
26/4/2013 - 25/5/2013

A selection of photographs by Maurice Broomfield

Maurice Broomfield (1916-2010) left school at the age of 15 to work in a factory while spending his evenings studying at Derby College of Art. Fascinated initially by the drama of industrial modernity as portrayed in the 18th century paintings of Joseph Wright, he later developed a post-war industrial aesthetic that drew on both art history and European modernism.

Producing monumental prints for both trade and exhibition purposes, Broomfield combined photography as art and document that echoed the interests of the Bauhaus artists and the New Objectivity of 1920s Weimar Germany. His distinctive approach to factories, laboratories, workshops and shipyards combined with an innovative use of monochrome and colour, reveal the intricacy and grandeur of industrial processes. Broomfield however was attentive to the status of the worker; they are humanist rather than alienating depictions of manual and technical labour.

As historical documents his imagery belongs to a period of urban regeneration and economic optimism that looked to technology as a utopian means to rebuild Britain. They are poignant reminders of the social and political certainties surrounding ‘old’ industry, as well as the technological faith in futuristic materials. The images remain fascinating as monumental records of an unseen world of research and production.

Text by Russell Roberts
(Excerpt from Maurice Broomfield, published by Foto8)

Exhibition photos by Sue Barr