Bert Hardy 1913-1995
Bert Hardy (1913-1995) is most famous as Picture Post's chief photographer in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in London to a working class family, Hardy started work as a laboratory assistant in a photographic agency, working freelance as a photographer.
As a photojournalist Bert Hardy was gifted with a sincere interest in people coupled with an ability to win the trust of those that he photographed. Hired as a staff photographer for the Picture Post, Hardy used his Leica to capture the slums of London and Glasgow, the Second World War and Korea.
Hardy travelled widely, capturing the leading events and personalities of the day, as well as gaining acclaim for his pictures of deprived areas of Britain, including an award-winning series of photographs of life in Glasgow's Gorbals and London's Elephant and Castle.
As Hardy explained: "The ideal picture tells something of the essence of life. It sums up emotion, it holds the feeling of movement thereby implying the continuity of life. It shows some aspect of humanity, the way that the person who looks at the picture will at once recognise as startlingly true."
Bert Hardy died in 1995 and will be remembered as one of the classic photojournalists of the Twentieth Century. Even in the direst of situations, the endurance of the human spirit shines through in Hardy's images. His work deserves to be considered alongside that of his contemporaries, including the great masters of Magnum, including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson.