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Science and Media Museum

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How do our images of babies and children reflect our ideas about human beauty? A unique portrayal of babies, from the birth of photography to the present day.

Gallery

Each era has its own idea of beauty, and we are continuously confronted with images of what the ideal human should look like. Baby: Picturing the Ideal Human followed this theme, and presented a contrasting set of images intended to serve as an antithesis to this perspective.

Through family albums, postcards, advertising, documentary and creative photography, this exhibition offered a unique portrayal of babies, from the birth of photography to the present day.

Bradford babies

Around 5,500 babies are born in Bradford each year. This exhibition celebrated the babies of our diverse community. Photographs of new immigrant families taken in the 1950s and 60s were shown alongside baby photos contributed by Bradford residents. Newly commissioned work by Bradford photographer Tim Smith documented first birthday parties across the city, and the groundbreaking NHS study Born in Bradford was represented through the work of its photographer-in-residence, Ian Beesley.