The Museum of Modern Art New York is staging a Bill Brandt exhibition opening on March 6th 2013 which is to include images of London in the Blitz alongside their original sources in Lilliput and other magazines. Bill Brandt had a pictorial sense of photojournalism and was not always scrupulous about the descriptions he gave of what was photographed - for him the image was more important than how it was made (many of his famous shots of Londoners in the East End and elsewhere were staged using friends and relatives playing the parts of East Enders, for example - a fact that is now well known). Less well-known is that some of his classic images, ostensibly of deserted London streets in the blackout published as a series in Lilliput magazine ('Blackout in London' Lilliput Dec. 1939), were actually reversions of images he had already published elsehwere, this time, though, with the lights artifiicially removed in the darkroom. I gave a talk about this, using the examples of alleged blackout images, at the Brandt symposium in the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2004 (the event was recorded and there is audio available British Library National Sound Archive), but haven't seen any discussion of this in print. It will be interesting to see if the MOMA exhibition highlights this feature. To some extent Brandt shaped our understanding of Englishness, and most people assume that his pre-war and wartime photography was reliable as photojournalism, yet his use of models to play parts, and his tendency to recycle and rework images giving them new life with new captions, means that these were far from straightforward documentary images.
Some of the Lilliput 'blackout' pictures that are certainly reworkings of pre-war images are
'Bermondsey in London' (= Shad Thames - in his 1938 book A Night in London)
'Mayfair' (= 'Late Lights in Mayfair' in his 1936 book English at Home In the 'blackout' picture, the upstairs lights have been dodged out in the darkroom).
'Westminster' (= 'Westminster in darkness' from A Night in London 1938. In the Lilliput image the silhouettes of the Houses of Parliament have been blacked in and cropped differently, but it is clearly the same image doctored rather than a new one).