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Roger Mayne (British, 1929-2014)


Birth Place: Cambridge, England UK


Who is photographer Roger Mayne?

Roger Mayne was an English photographer who is best known for his photographic portraits of children, specifically those of Southam Street, London. His work was prized by many for its nontraditional subject matter and vitality which led to a long and successful career both as a commercial and high art photographer. He shot many famous book jacket designs, perhaps most famously for the Colin MacInnes’ novel, Absolute Beginners (1959). His move from black and white photography to color in the 1960s represented a huge shift in his style and opened his work to an entirely new audience.

Mayne’s work was prized for its commercial applications (books and magazines) but also enjoyed critical fame as well. He exhibited at several notable institutions in London including the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria Art Gallery, and the Photographer’s Gallery. His work appears in the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

What kind of art did Roger Mayne make?

Roger Mayne was a portrait photographer whose work often featured the children of Southam Street in London. His photos were often candid and his subjects felt vital and alive -- which resonated with the general public as well as art critics. This style led him to commercial success designing book jackets and as a freelancer for several noted London magazines. His photographs of street life from 1956 to 1961 are the most famous of his career. Several are now in the National Portrait Gallery of London. Always evolving, His move to color photography in the 1960s helped him land more commercial work with the Sunday Times and Observer. This also had the added benefit of introducing the photographer to an entirely new audience.

How did photographer Roger Mayne get started?

Roger Mayne was born in Cambridge in 1928. He was interested in photography from an early age, eventually studying Chemistry at Balliol College to better understand the photographic process. It was there, while in school, that the young photographer met Hugo Van Wadenoyen. Wadenoyen was at the end of his own storied career and took Mayne under his wing as a student and friend. Mayne’s first published work was in the British photo magazine, Picture Post in 1951. It was around this time that Mayne first started taking portrait photos of the residents of St. Ives, Cornwall -- an aesthetic he would explore a half-decade later when he began his Southam Street photos. By 1956 he had exhibited his first solo show and was well on his way to becoming a respected commercial artist.

How much are Roger Mayne photographs worth?

Roger Mayne’s photographs can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to nearly $9,000 depending on the print. The most ever paid for a Roger Mayne photography at a Heritage Auction’s event is $6,250 for the piece Screaming Child Southam St. (North Kensington) (1956) on April 17th, 2016.

Where to buy Roger Mayne photographs for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Roger Mayne photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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Roger Mayne Original Art values sold at auction

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