December 7, 2012
Michael Hoppen on collecting photography

Emil Otto Hoppé, Speaker’s Corner, London, 1934. © Estate of Emil Otto Hoppé

"There are no shortcuts," says London gallery owner Michael Hoppen in this interview with The Guardian’s Sean O’Hagan. Finders Keepers is an exhibition of his personal collection, put together over many years of obsessive trawling through the most unlikely places. This commitment, he says, is of paramount importance to building a worthwhile collection (though he also maintains that he collects photographs he likes, not merely those that are likely to rocket in price.)

Denise Grünstein, Tied, 2009. © Denise Grünstein. Courtesy of Charlotte Lund Gallery

I particularly loved this quote from Hoppen:

"If you think you can go to a fair once a year and find a bargain, forget it. I spend so much time going to places where I don’t find anything of worth. That’s the downside, but, like most collectors, I perversely enjoy that as well."

Unknown Photographer, Tornado, USA, 1950s. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

I chose three from the 130-image show here. Let me know if you have a chance to visit the exhibition. (Another instance of my slightly wishing I still lived in London.)