AA Photo Library: E R Jarrett Collection

Eric Rawlsham Jarrett was a well-known teacher on the AA staff from the 1920s to 50s, and also a prolific photographer in the years before World War II: his pictures were used in AA publications and in books by Sir John Summerson, Frederick Gibberd and many others. He left his collection of negatives to the AA on his death in 1959, and they stand as a rich resource that document the concerns of the progressive architects of the period: over 1,000 of his large-format negatives from this period are held in the AA Photo Library.  He later began to use colour film and there are also many fascinating early slides: these include images of the 1951 Festival of Britain as well as early modern houses in London.

Many of his most memorable photographs were taken on the architectural trips abroad organized by AA Secretary (and celebrated photographer) Frank Yerbury: there are numerous images of new buildings in Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Switzerland. But also, and in this his subjects differ from Yerbury’s own, many of his subjects are closer to home. They reflect an interest in the latest architecture in Britain, but also an extensive appreciation of British architectural history and landscape.

Byron Blakeley

Shakespeare Memorial Theatre terrace, Stratford upon Avon

Nithsdale Road, Glasgow by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson

Eric Jarrett on the AA terrace, 1930s…