David Bailey

There is only one David Bailey, and we are delighted to feature his 2006 Havana book, now into its second edition. He writes that this is, “just a superficial look, not a soul searching investigation, a quick impression of a place…”, perhaps he is simply being modest since he also states that “from the vibrant street reportage to searing portraiture, this book offers a quintessential view of a city.” From our perspective this is quality, not especially original or distinct but quality nonetheless and the lack of pretension in the introduction from someone who is world famous appeals.

In his own words:
“My book Havana is just a superficial look, not a soul searching investigation, a quick impression of a place that is unique in it’s geographical position, being much closer to the United States of America than the space station. Both are places ordinary Americans cannot visit. To be one of the poorest nations on Earth, almost within spitting distance of the richest, makes the poverty of Cuba seem more extreme. Two countries with extreme ideologies; the small one proving that Communism does not work, the other proving that democratic paranoia does work if the power and the money are in place.” David Bailey

Havana shows Bailey at the height of his powers, producing photographs that reflect his mastery of the full range of the distinct genres of the medium. From vibrant street reportage to seering portraiture, this book offers a quintessential view of a city which is the touchstone for one of the most distinct cultural and political divides in a world fast moving towards homogeneity.

About David Bailey

David Bailey CBE
David Bailey was born in 1938 in London. He taught himself photography, and in 1959, following a year serving with the Royal Air Force in Malaysia, he began his long and distinguished career when he was appointed as a photographic assistant at the John French Studio in London.

Bailey started as a fashion photographer for Vogue Magazine in 1960, and subsequently as a freelance photographer who has worked for every major publication in the world. From 1966 he also directed television commercials and documentaries.

In 1975 he became a Fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers. In 1979 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.

Bailey has held numerous personal exhibitions in London and worldwide (Finland, Sweden, the United States of America, Germany and Italy). He has also produced numerous publications, from his first publication Box of Pinups in 1964 to Archive Two — Locations in 2003 and Bailey’s Democracy due to be published Nov 2005. His television work includes documentaries on photographers and directors including Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol and Luciano Visconti. He also wrote and directed a short film called The Lady is a Tramp, to coincide with the publication of his book of the same name in 1995.

David is one of the world’s leading photographers and short film directors. In 2001 he was awarded a CBE in recognition of his achievements, and the University of Plymouth is proud to be able to add its own recognition of his outstanding contribution by awarding him an honorary degree.


  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – Edificio de Arte Internacional

    Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – Edificio de Arte Internacional  LH 5

    The International collection (Edificio de Arte Internacional) In 2001, after the new venues were chosen for the National Museum of Fine Arts, the international collection was installed in the former C …

    Maqueta de La Habana

    Maqueta de La Habana  LH 5+

    This scale model of Havana is the third largest scale model in the world. It was built at a scale of 1:1000 and spans over 144 square meters. It is approximately 22 meters long and 10 meters wide and …

    Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña

    Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña  LH 5+

    Constructed after the capture of Havana by British forces and named San Carlos de la Cabaña in honor of King Carlos III, this 700-meter long fortress is the largest in the Americas. It was designed by …

    El Chanchullero

    El Chanchullero  LH 5+

    El Chanchullero has got to win the most surprisingly good place in Havana award. This looks like a hole in the wall place in a downright run down looking part of Old Havana. It is a hassle to get to b …

    Tren de Hershey

    Tren de Hershey  LH 5+

    In 1926, Pennsylvania based Hershey Corporation built a 135-km-long electric railroad network in Cuba to transport product and personnel from Havana to Hershey’s sugar factory 45 km east of the capita …

    Plaza de Armas

    Plaza de Armas  LH 5+

    The early city was formally founded in 1519 on the northeast side of what would soon be laid out as Plaza de la Iglesia—named for the simple church that stood here until 1741, when it was destroyed fo …

    Gran Parque Metropolitano (Parque Almendares)

    Gran Parque Metropolitano (Parque Almendares)  LH 5+

    Along the banks of the Almendares River is Parque Almendares, also known as Bpsque de La Haband (Havana’s Forest). This is the only urban forest in the city and is a recreational area for Habaneros th …

    Plaza de San Francisco

    Plaza de San Francisco  LH 5+

    Right across Havana harbor, Plaza de San Francisco is one of the first three built in the 16th century. It takes its name from the Franciscan convent built there. The plaza became the site of a market …

    Plaza de la Catedral

    Plaza de la Catedral  LH 5+

    The last of the main squares to be created, this is one of Old Havana’s most beautiful spots. Originally, it was named Plaza de la Ciénaga (Swamp Square) because of its muddy terrain, but by the 18th …

    Hotel Nacional de Cuba

    Hotel Nacional de Cuba  LH 5+

    In response to the increasing influx of American tourists in the late 20s (mainly those who were escaping Prohibition, in force in the United States at the time), the construction of a luxury hotel wa …

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