Thurston Hopkins, one of Britain’s greatest photojournalists, created brilliant works of art throughout his 101 years of life, but it was 1951 Cats of London that gave him recognition as a very talented and unique photographer. Nowadays the depth and the intriguing story telling in his black and white pictures of felines are appreciated not only by art-lovers, but also by cat-lovers worldwide.
In the early 1950s Hopkins was working for Picture Post, where the images of cats got first published. As Hopkins was walking the streets of London doing reportage for other assignments, he met many cats which were made homeless by the blitz. Many of those strays had to establish themselves in the bombsites. They were living and breeding more or less wild and surviving on the scraps given by friendly neighbours.
Back in those days, even the cats that had good homes would spend loads of time on the streets of London. It was a common practice to let the cat out of the house before the owners went to bed, as cat-flaps did not exist then. So even those kitties that had homes were still street cats first and domestic cats second.
Hopkins took these iconic images of cats attracting them with a little food, and now the special atmosphere of 1950s London and the mysterious lives of cats are forever captured for future generations to enjoy.