Raymond Moore (1920 – 1987) was an important post-war English art photographer. Born in Wallasey, then part of Cheshire, he served in the RAF and then trained as a painter at the Royal College of Art. After graduating, he was asked to set up a photography department at Watford College. Moore became interested in photography at a time when photography was still viewed in Britain as an undistinguished craft rather than a serious art form.
Influenced by some of the images in Hugo van Wadenoyen’s seminal 1947 Wayside Snapshots book – a book which marked the start of the decisive British break with Pictorialism – Moore began to see fresh possibilities in the composition and framing of everyday English landscapes. Moore went on to create black & white fine art photographs; having his first solo gallery show in 1959. He continued teaching for most of his life, and he is widely regarded as one of the great teachers. Visiting the U.S. in 1968, he worked with photographer Minor White at MIT and was influenced by Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind.
He had his first major solo show in 1970 at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1974 he became a Lecturer at the influential Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, but left in 1978 to pursue his own creative work in Cumbria. From around 1976 the climate in England slowly began to change in favour of art photography; and so Moore finally saw acclaim in his own country with a major London retrospective show at the Hayward Gallery and the publication of a book of his photography.
In 1983, the BBC made a short film about the photographer Moore as part of a series called ‘Coast to Coast’ titled Every So Often. It was unusual for being a film about a photographer, still a rarity at that time, and because Moore was not then considered to be a ‘famous’ figure in the medium, although he certainly had an ardent following amongst the young generation of photographers in Britain at the time.
Moore’s influential work has now been out-of-print for more than twenty years.
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