Years ago, soon after I left the Royal College of Art, I acquired a two- volume set of 'Women of All Nations" a kind of anthropological survey of world-wide types and customs. The book was generously endowed with exotic photographs of tribeswomen from every corner of the globe. Revised today, such a publication - a momento of worlds that have by and large disappeared - is a mere curiosity and probably scientifically suspect as well. Yet something about the variety and scope of the people portrayed caught my fancy. One day I naively dreamed. I might be in a position to take advantage of any travels that photgraphic assignments brought my way and make portraits entirely for myself of people in foreign lands who interested me. Not as types but for something I may reveal through their personality.
My Portraits 'Of Humankind' 2000. Peter Lavery
"Pervading all the pictures in this book is that sense of wonderment surely experienced by those pioneering travellers who first brought back haunting documents from far-off places. Lavery's portraits remind us of Cartier-Bressons remark that photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and which no contrivance on earth can bring back."
from the foreward 'Of Humankind' by Robin Muir
'Lavery’s images are ‘redolent with understated echoes of the past taken by one who knows his photographic history better than many of his peers and is generous in revealing and exploring it.’
-- Robin Muir, The Independent
Robin Muir is a photographic historian, exhibitions arranger and writer on photography. He has curated major exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, theVictoria & Albert Museum and the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven. Subjects including - Vogue 100:John Deakin and Cecil Beaton .