The images that shaped Europe

Images are powerful. That’s why they are so effective for sharing ideas or selling us products and values. They cross borders and social classes. They help us to look more closely at ourselves, understand our influences and open our minds.

Used politically, an image can instil a sense of belonging, an awareness of a common identity. But each image is like a thread in a tapestry - when woven with others, we get to see a bigger picture.

This exhibition presents this bigger picture: a study of European globalisation through images. We explore some of the most-used images and visual production techniques seen in Europe between the 1890s and 1990s, a period that witnessed the emergence of a new visual economy. Illustrated magazines, newspapers and posters became familiar and widespread, and it is here that we start our journey.