Derry Moore

The Independent

Book review: An English Room, by Derry Moore

This collection of photographs invites readers into the favourite rooms of some of our most beloved celebrities. Everyone has a treasured place to read, study, work, and dream – but there’s something special about an English room.

In this handsome volume, filled with perceptive photographs, some of the nation’s most renowned figures share their favourite spaces and their personal musings about Englishness and English rooms. Benedict Cumberbatch reveals his favourite place to read a script; Jeanette Winterson describes why she adores the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris; actress Harriet Walter is photographed at the bottom of her stairs; and fashion designer Paul Smith wallows in his book-lined study. Gilbert & George invite you into their Queen Anne house, while Alan Bennett explains his rumpled existence in Primrose Hill, north London.

November 10th 2013

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Caravan Magazine

Evening Ragas

Evening Ragas showcases over 60 limited-edition signed prints from an ongoing project Derry Moore began in India in 1976, which he continues to work on to this day. Moore, the 12th Earl of Drogheda, made his name photographing the interiors and portraits of the European aristocracy, including those of Queen Elizabeth II and the late Queen Mother. Following his education at Eton, he studied painting at Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Seeing in Salzburg, Austria, and photography under Bill Brandt.

The exhibition is a combination of interiors, architectural views and landscapes that poignantly document what may be the last relics and aesthetics of a pre-modernised India. It also includes some of the commissioned high society portraits, especially of women, that Moore took on his various trips to India.

February 1st 2013

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Horse & Hound

18 horsey books to curl up with this January

This coffee table book features a mixture of photographs and expert comment celebrating the horse. Derry Moore’s artistically captured images are full of imagination — with the turn of each page you are taken to inviting-looking gallops, picturesque hunting scenes and exotic yards in Delhi, Spain and the USA.

By Madeleine Silver - January 16th 2017

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New York Times

An Insider’s View of Society’s Vanishing Rooms

I CALL this the Berlin Wall,” Derry Moore said, waving his hand at a barricade made of suitcases in the kitchen of his Notting Hill house. Behind it, a small spaniel, still not house-trained, was desperate to escape.

“No, puppy,” he said, quietly and not quite firmly. “You can’t come out yet.” Even addressing this frantic creature he seemed incapable of making his voice sound anything other than calm and exquisitely thoughtful.

Mr. Moore, a celebrated photographer, appears to be thoughtful to the point of fastidiousness in everything he does. Although the National Portrait Gallery in London has 37 of his portraits in its collection, he is best known for his meticulously composed interior pictures, which have been published in magazines like Architectural Digest and Nest, and have now been collected in the book “Rooms” (Rizzoli).

The book’s 225 photographs, taken from 1975 to 2005 at luxuriously furnished houses and apartments in India, England, France, Ireland, Spain, Italy and New York, demonstrate an almost preternatural sensitivity to, and care with, the interactions of light, space, color and form that give a room its character. Mr. Moore uses natural light as much as possible, and often shoots interiors from a series of subtly progressing angles, allowing viewers to feel as if they are walking through the rooms — whether in Pauline de Rothschild’s London apartment, Elsie de Wolfe’s Versailles pavilion or the Marques de Casa Torres’s town house in Madrid.

By Daisy Garnett - November 23rd 2006

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The Wall Street Journal

Derry Moore: Vintage + Color

Derry Moore (b. 1937) is famous in his native England for his celebrity and architectural photographs. He has gone to India repeatedly since his first trip in 1971, and in India he devotes the same attention to his pictures of servants and prostitutes and to the decaying edifices of the raj as he does to the stars of the London stage and noble palaces back home.

Which is to say that the work at sepiaEYE is very handsome, notable for its attention to detail and atmosphere. Although the features of her face are hidden in shadow, it is clear from the girl’s naked back in “Prostitute, Bombay” (1976) that she is young and attractive. The portly subject of “Nawab Mujib Yar Jung, Hyderabad” (1978) sits wearing a traditional frock coat and jodhpurs and with a walking stick. He is middle-aged and a man of authority; the chairs, paintings and other furnishings that surround him help us understand who he is.

The haunted look of the man in “Palace Guard, Jaisalmer” (1978), with his snow white mustache and oversize turban, is an indication he has outlived his time. The youth in “Young Boy in Burdwan House, Calcutta” (1977), one of the few color prints in this show, is handsome, with jet black hair, and sits comfortably in a classic Roman chair in a room with a Roman bust and other classical Western statues, an example of the potpourri of cultures that is India.

By William Meyers - June 29th 2014

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L'Oeil de la Photographie

New York : India, Vintage + Color

SepiaEYE, a New York gallery specializing in photographers from India and the Far East, is currently holding Derry Moore’s first solo exhibition in America. The show runs through July 30th.

Trained by the British photographer Bill Brandt, Moore visited India for the first time in 1971 to document Indian palaces, some of which were barely still standing. Impressed by the blend of local architecture combining European influences with Indian techniques, Moore expertly captured the nostalgia inspired by the castles from another era. From Calcutta, Delhi and Hyderabad to Lucknow, Mumbai and Udaipur, Moore takes the viewer on a timeless journey through two ancient cultures, Indian and European.

What’s striking about these immense and richly decorated palaces are their gigantic sizes, the sheer amount of decorations and embellishments, and the feeling that they were deserted by the families who once lived there. Rats eat the offerings of food laid out on altars of prayer, solitary guards open the large doors onto silent salons, and painted cardboard cutouts have replaced their hosts. The living look like statues, frozen like prisoners of the past. Only Satyajit Ray, the Bengali director, seems real, lost in a book in this Calcutta library.

Outside life reasserts itself. The luxurious vegetation, ponds and fields bordering the palace all murmur? Men work the land, erecting bamboo structures that will one day form the structures of a marriage tent. A camouflaged hunter awaits his prey on an arid Bikaner plain. Men cross a river on foot, carrying towering bundles of wood on their heads.

Derry Moore’s photographs transport the future into a timeless India, a lost world isolated from the progress of civilization. This is the India of dreams, fascinating and eternal.

By Sybile Girault - June 30th 2014

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