Snowdon portraits at Burton Art Gallery and Museum

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Burton Art Gallery & Museum’s winter exhibition includes around 65 iconic photographs by Snowdon, capturing some of the most important figures in recent art history including Frank Auerbach (pictured), Peter Blake, William Coldstream, John Piper, Graham Sutherland, Joe Tilson, David Hockney and many others.

Snowdon (born in 1930) is a photographer, inventor and designer. Antony Armstrong-Jones was created Earl of Snowdon in 1961 on his marriage to Princess Margaret. He began a photographic career in 1951, having failed his architecture exams at Cambridge. He has worked for The Sunday Times Magazine (1962-90), Vogue (from 1956) and the Telegraph Magazine (1990-6) and has had exhibitions which have toured around the world.

The exhibition features rare images from Snowdon’s seminal book Private View (1965). Snowdon captured some of the most important names in British art, often in the privacy of their own studios or homes. The results of these private, or in camera, sessions have become truly iconic images of some of the most famous names in modern British art.

More than 40 years after the book was first published, the exhibition In Camera revisits a selection of these famous images for the first time. In addition, the exhibition – on display at the 2007 Gulbenkian Prize winning Pallant House Gallery – also includes some rare alternative images not in the Private View book, a number of which have never been published before.

As the contemporary art scene has changed, a new generation of British artists have come to the fore and Snowdon has continued to document these figures of fascination, producing some of the most incisive portraits of contemporary British artists including those who became known in the 1990s as the ‘YBAs’ (Young British Artists’), among them Damien Hirst, Mark Wallinger, the Chapman Brothers, Chris Ofili and Rachel Whiteread.

Miranda Clark, visual arts manager at the Burton said: “The exhibition marks a pivotal moment in the art world of the 1960s but also Britain’s social history.

“We have all tried to compose portrait photographs but it is spectacular to see it done here by one the greats.

“Portraits are always fascinating: even more so when they of artists who have bucked the trend all their lives. Their portraits speak volumes of the world they have constructed around them and who they portray themselves to be.”

In Camera: Snowdon and the World of British Art is curated by Robin Muir and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a new essay by the curator.

• Exhibition at the Burton Art Gallery & Museum, Bideford, 
In Camera: Snowdon and the World of British Art runs until to December 24
: Open Monday – Saturday 10am-4pm. Sunday 11am-4pm. Admission free



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