At the turn of the 20th century, an amateur photographer named Horace Warner captured over two hundred startling images of children living in a rundown slum area of East London. He named these children the ‘Spitalfields Nippers’.
As a designer managing the family wallpaper-printing business, Horace Warner had the income and resources to explore photography in his spare time and produce images of the highest standard technically. As superintendent of the charitable Bedford Institute, he was brought into close contact over many years with the families who lived nearby in the yards and courts south of Quaker St. As a Quaker, he believed in the equality of all and he was disturbed by the poverty he met in the East End.
In the Spitalfields Nippers these things came together for Horace Warner, creating compassionate images that gave dignity to his subjects and producing great photography that is without parallel in his time.