Depending on who you speak to, London nightlife is either deep in decline or on the up. So it seems as good a time as any for a photography exhibition that shines the spotlight on some of the Capital’s darkest corners, now open at the Museum of London

Depending on who you speak to, London nightlife is either deep in decline or on the up.

Pubs and live music venues are making way for luxury flats and clubs are clashing with local councils (and usually coming off second best).

But on the positive side, superclub Fabric is back open, the Tube is running into the wee hours on weekends, and our first ever Night Czar Amy Lame has outlined an ambitious vision for a 24-hour London.

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frame game: AJ Tracey, ETS, Saint and PK at Ace Hotel, 2015. Photo by Vicky Grout

So it seems as good a time as any for a photography exhibition that shines the spotlight on some of the Capital’s darkest corners, opening at the Museum of London this week.

London Nights illustrates nocturnal London and its many guises through over 200 examples of photography from the 19th century to the present day under three major themes.

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Outdoor Cinema Projection Wood Street Waltham Forest. Photo by Philipp Ebeling

‘London Illuminated’ demonstrates the effect of artificial lighting on the look of London, ‘Dark Matters’ explores the sinister connotations of the nocturnal hour, and ‘Switch On Switch Off’ looks at what we do at the end of the day; whether it’s work, rest and play after dark.

The exhibition draws on its private collection as well as works from more than 60 artists, among them Nick Turpin, Terry Spencer, Bill Brandt and William Eckersley, whose series Dark City finds the beauty in urban landscapes after dark, from football pitches to supermarket carparks. There will be a range of programmed events happening and the museum will be open late every Friday of the exhibition’s run for visitors to engage with the photography after hours.

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Trolleys in empty carpark, 2011. Photo by William Eckersley

Museum of London photography curator Anna Sparnham said London Nights aims to “showcase the city transformed in the glow of the night.”

“Whether it’s central London or suburbia this exhibition will explore the dark corners of the city from the magnificent to the mundane,” she said.

London Nights is on at the Museum of London from 11 May to 11 November.

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