A unique archive of photographs of Hollywood stars from the 1940s/50s/60s, many of which have never been seen before, will be going on show in Brighton in May as part of the Artist Open Houses festival.
The exhibition will pull images from a wide range of negatives that include images of Gary Cooper, President Harry Truman, Audrey Hepburn, Dirk Bogarde and Peter Sellers. Alongside the celebrity images are many others, which give fascinating social and historical record of the period – including the Queen’s rat-catcher and Britain’s first female chimney sweep.
The archive belongs to Brighton based photographer George Douglas, who worked for many years at Picture Post and Life magazine amongst other publications. George died in 2010, leaving an enormous and diverse archive to his good friend and fellow Brighton based photographer Roger Bamber. Bamber discovered thousands of negatives in a dilapidated filing cabinet when he inherited George’s house in Silwood Road. George had bought the house back in 1964 and though he spent much time in California, he still spent his summers in Brighton and retired to live in the house full time in 2007 until his death in 2010. 2014 marks the 50th consecutive year that Silwood Road has been lived in by a photographer.
Now a third Brighton photographer, Nigel Swallow, is setting up studio in the house and will be exploring the archive, reprinting many of its images and exhibiting them to the public for the first time as part of the Brighton Artist Open House festival.
George Douglas Open House, 14 Silwood Road, Brighton BN1 2LF Open weekends in May, 2014.