This vibrant picture, taken in June 1959, was one of a series Peto photographed for the ‘Observer’ which did a feature of Spanish life under Franco’s regime. In the 1950s Franco implemented some reforms of Spain’s isolationist self-sufficiency policies which led to massive economic growth and a move away from its totalitarian repressive regime.

Photo-journalist Michael Peto worked with The Observer during the 1950s and ‘60s. His collection is a chronicle of an age – a spirited mix of arts and culture, politics, war and peace, social documentary and the emergence of twentieth celebrity culture. Peto had a very personal humanist style, seeking to record ‘the basic serenity of the human form’.

The collection was gifted to the University of Dundee by Peto’s stepson Michael Fodor and comprises some 130,000 prints and negatives. It is held by the University Archives.

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