Jo Spence



1934 Born in London, UK
1950 Graduated from Secretarial College
1967–1974 Started her own agency which specialised in family portraits, and wedding photos
Early 1970s Refocused towards documentary photography
1979-1981 Studied the theory and practice of photography at the Polytechnic of Central London
1982 Diagnosed with breast cancer
1992 Passed away

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2021 Jo Spence: From Fairy Tales to Phototherapy. Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
2020 Jo Spence: Photo Therapy. Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, UK (Online Exhibition)
2017 Memory Cards. Shin Gallery, New York, NY
2016 Jo Spence. Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
Jo Spence: The Final Project,.Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, UK
2015 Jo Spence. BP Spotlight, Tate Britain, London, UK
2013 Jo Spence: Work (Part III) ‘The History Lesson’. White Columns, New York, NY
Jo Spence and Alexis Hunter , (curated by George Vasey), Richard Saltoun, London, UK; travelled to Galleria L’Elefante, Treviso, Italy
2012 Jo Spence: Work (Part I). SPACE, London, UK
Jo Spence: Work (Part II). Studio Voltaire, London, UK
2008 Jo Spence: Self Portraits. Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK
2005 Jo Spence Beyond the Perfect Image. MACBA, Barcelona, Spain
Jo Spence Beyond the Perfect Image. Camera Austria, Granz, Austria
Jo Spence: Beyond the Family Album and Other Projects. Belfast Exposed Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland
1996 Jo Spence: Early Work - The History Lesson and Other Projects. Sans Walk Gallery, Kingsway College, London, UK
Jo Spence: The Art of Transgression. Toronto Photographers Workshop Gallery, Toronto, Canada
1995 Jo Spence: The Healing Camera. The Third Gallery Aya, Osaka, Japan
Jo Spence: Matters of Concern - Collaborative Images 1982 -1992. Royal Festival Hall, London, UK; travelled to Impressions Gallery, York, UK
Jo Spence: Photographs. Out of the Blue Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland and KJP Gallery, Napier University, Edinburgh, UK
1991 Missing Persons / Damaged Lives. Jo Spence: Recent Collaborative Works. Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, UK
1990 Jo Spence Collaborative Works. Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, Australia; travelled to Victorian Centre for Photography, Melbourne, Australia; Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, Australia; University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, Australia
1985 Jo Spence: Review of Work 1950-1985. Cambridge Dark Room Gallery, Cambridge, UK
1979 Beyond the Family Album. Jo Spence Photography Workshop, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 Telling Stories: Picture Post and its Legacy. James Hyman Gallery, London, UK
2021 On Hannah Arendt: The Modern Age. Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, UK
A Picture of Health. Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
2020 Heather Agyepong, Anna Fox & Jo Spence: In Sickness And In Health. James Hyman Gallery, London, UK
Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights. The British Library, London, UK
2019 OSMOSCOSMOS. Centre de la Photographie Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
Misbehaving Bodies. Wellcome Collection, London, UK
P is for Portrait. The Art House, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
1989. The end of the 20th century. IVAM, Valencia, Spain
2018 Laid Bare in the Landscape. Nevada Museum of Art, Nevada, NV
DRAG: Self-portraits and Body Politic. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London, UK
Camera Austria International. Laboratory for photography and Theory. Museum der Modern Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Cultural Sniping: Photographic Collaborations in the Jo Spence Memorial Library
. Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck University of London, London, UK
Women Look at Women. Curated by Paola Ugolini, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London, UK
2017 Here We Are,.Old Sessions House, London, UK
Tread Softly. Bothy Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK
EXITUS – Death, Grief and Melancholy. Galleri F15, Moss, Norway
2016 Flesh: Skin and Surface. York Art Gallery, York, UK
Teesside World Exposition of Art and Technology. Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough, UK
In a Dream You Saw a Way To Survive and You Were Full Of Joy. Hayward Gallery, London, UK; travelled to The Whitworth, University of Manchester, UK; De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-On-Sea, UK; and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, UK
2015 All Men Become Sisters. Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
Liberties. Collyer Bristow LLP, London, UK
Not yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Past Caring. University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
2014 Jo Spence: A Survey. Frieze Masters, Spotlight Section – Stand S1, London, UK
Artevida política [politics]. Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Your Tongue In My Mouth. Stanley Picker Gallery, London, UK
Keywords. Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
Somewhat Abstract: Selections from the Arts Council. Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK
2013 Living Loss: The Experience of Illness in Art. Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, Ireland, curated by Fiona Kearney in association with the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Ireland
2012 Family Matters. Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK
Artery. 1971-1984 Rob Tufnell, London, UK
Auto/Pathographies. curated by Tamar Tembeck, OBORO, Montréal, Canada
2011 Unsettled Objects. Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK
2007 Documenta 12. documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH, Kassel, Germany
2000 Protest and Survive. Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK
1996 Public Domain. Centre d’Art de Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain
1994 Matters of Concern: Collaborative Images, 1982-1992. Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
1993 Body Politics: Rosy Martin, Jo Spence and Shari Caroline Diamond. PS 122 Gallery, New York, NY
Renegotiations: Class, Modernity and Photography. Norwich Gallery, UK
1992 Real Stories: Revisions in Documentary and Narrative Photography. Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
1991 Exploring the Unknown Self: Self-Portraits of Contemporary Women. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
1989 Through the Looking Glass. Barbican Gallery, London, UK
1988 Sexual Difference: Both Sides of the Camera (with Terry Dennett). Miriam and Ira Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY
1987 Staging the Self. National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
1985 The Picture of Health. Photography Workshop, London, UK
1982 Family Fantasy and Photography: The Polysnappers. Cockpit Gallery, London, UK
1979 Three Perspectives on Photography. Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Who’s Holding the Baby: Hackney Flashers Collective. distributed by Photography Workshop Ltd, London, UK


Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME, USA
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, UK
MACBA | Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
MOMA | Museum of Modern Art, New York,, NY, USA
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland
New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA, USA
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ, USA
Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada
Tate Collection, London, UK
Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA, USA
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
Wellcome Trust, London, UK
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