1930 – 2009
John Goldblatt Photography
Born in Manchester, England in 1930, John Theodore Goldblatt left for South Africa in 1956. With a degree in analytical chemistry he first pursued that line of work in Johannesburg but photography soon became his passion.
At the same time, disturbed by the gross inequities he saw in South African society, John became a photographer with an eye on social justice. He distinguished himself by being bold enough to wander – illegally – into the townships with camera in hand, documenting a reality that saddened and, indeed, angered him. White men didn't do that in the 1950s.
The result was a series of compelling photographs, celebrated here. It also led to the launch of a successful career in photojournalism, which he pursued upon his return to the U.K. His work, both written and photographic, appeared in many publications over the next four decades, regularly including The Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Observer, and The Daily Telegraph.
John’s pictures were featured in galleries and institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, London’s Guildhall Library, Whitechapel, and the Photographers’ Gallery.
This website is very much a work in progress and, therefore, a small sample of John Goldblatt's 50 years of photographic work. In the process of surveying his archive, we will be adding further series of his photographs to share with you.