Tony Ray-Jones. Small Pleasures

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The exhibition Tony Ray-Jones,Small Pleasures celebrates a photographer who, despite his short career —he died at the age of thirty—, has left an important legacy, which is still unknown, to many. The manner in which he approached his street photography subjects marked a turning point in the England of the mid-60s.

  • From 25th April to 17th June, 2018.
  • From Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-20:00.
  • Admission: 6 €
  • Curator: María Millán



Tony Ray-Jones. Small Pleasures
Tony Ray-Jones. Small Pleasures
Tony Ray-Jones. Small Pleasures


Published by San Telmo Museum and written by María Millán.

"Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972) studied graphic design at the London School of Printing and later at Yale University in Connecticut, USA in 1961. He graduated two years later and immediately went on to form part of a select group of emerging photographers who participated in the Design Club which took place at Richard Avedon’s studio. The influential and internationally venerated creative director Alexey Brodovitch was a teacher there. He urged Ray-Jones to study the work of Cartier-Bresson, Brassai and Atget. Ray-Jones’  photographic eye, combined with his knowledge and qualities as a graphic designer, must have impressed the radical maestro, who decided to hire him to work as creative associate director at Sky magazine in Manhattan..  Brodovitch always supported him and was an important reference point in the life and work of Ray-Jones.

Upon his return to England in 1965, he encountered a country that was undergoing profound social changes. Being familiar with local customs and aware of the influence that American culture was going to have on Europe, he put  into practice a fresh vision, the result of his stay in the USA, and embarked upon a project devoted to  documenting the different social strata of English culture and society, which were on the cusp of undergoing a  radical transformation.

His photographs, always full of humour, never leave the viewer indifferent. He was critical  with social injustice and, although he did not come from the working class, he devoted a large part of his time to engage and work with them.

Tony Ray-Jones died of leukaemia in 1972. His first book A Day Off: An English Journal was published in 1974. The importance of his legacy is apparent five decades later. His photographs still  transmit the humanity and generosity of people enjoying themselves and the small pleasures of life. The images  can also have, as he intended, an incisive reading, making us think about social differences. Nowadays, they invite  s to look at them, not with nostalgia for the past, but relating them to our present reality." María Millán, curator.

Organisers: San Telmo Museoa
Colaborators: RIBA, Science Media Museum


San Sebastián, ciudad de la cultura

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