See Highlights From Elton John’s Photography Collection at Tate Modern

The pop star has been collecting photography since 1991.

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Man Ray, Glass Tears (1932) from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
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Man Ray, Glass Tears (1932) from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Man Ray, Glass Tears (1932) from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Edward Steichen, A Bee on a Sunflower (c. 1920), from The Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Courtesy Tate.
Irving Penn, Salvador Dali, New York (1947), from the Sir Elton John. Photography Collection. Photo ©The Irving Penn Foundation.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Irving Penn, Salvador Dali, New York (1947), from the Sir Elton John. Photography Collection. Photo ©The Irving Penn Foundation.
Man Ray, Rayograph (1923), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Man Ray, Rayograph (1923), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
Man Ray, Dora Maar (1936), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Man Ray, Dora Maar (1936), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
Tina Modotti, Bandolier, Corn and Sickle (1927), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Courtesy Tate.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Tina Modotti, Bandolier, Corn and Sickle (1927), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Courtesy Tate.
Man Ray, Nusch Eluard (1928), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Man Ray, Nusch Eluard (1928), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.
Edward Weston, Nude (1936), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.
The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Edward Weston, Nude (1936), from the Sir Elton John Photography Collection. Photo ©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents.

Thinking of a collection belonging to Elton John, one is easily tempted to envision a trove of flashy sunglasses (he allegedly owns 250,000 pairs). But shades aren’t the legendary British pop star’s only object of material love.

John is also a reputed art collector, particularly of vintage photography, and Tate Modern’s latest exhibition is showcasing highlights from his photography collection: A selection of classic modernist images from the 1920s to the 1950s, including works by Man Ray, André Kertész, Berenice Abbott, Alexandr Rodchenko, and Edward Steichen.

“The modernist era in photography is one of the key moments within the medium and collecting work from this period has brought me great joy over the last 25 years. Each of these photographs serves as inspiration for me in my life; they line the walls of my homes and I consider them precious gems,” John said in a statement.

The exhibition “The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection,” which opens on Thursday, will feature 150 photographs by 60 artists, coming from what Tate describes as “one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography.”

“This will be a truly unique exhibition. There are few collections of modernist photography in the UK, so we are delighted that Sir Elton John has allowed us to draw on his incredible collection and give everyone a chance to see these iconic works,” Tate director Nicholas Serota said in a statement.

Coming face-to-face with such masterpieces of photography will be a rare and rewarding experience,” he added.

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection” will be on view at Tate Modern, London, from November 10, 2016 – May 7, 2017.


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