Twin exhibitions chart the life and work of photography pioneer Olive Edis
PUBLISHED: 11:59 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:00 06 June 2018
More than 60 people turned out to the launch of twin exhibitions at Sheringham Museum charting the life and work of one of the most highly regarded photographers of the 20th century.
Featuring portraits by Olive Edis, who ran a studio at Sheringham for 50 years, the two shows, which also include letters and memorabila, map the pioneering photographer’s career, from war artist, to photographer of the rich and famous.
Born in London in 1876, Ms Edis opened her first studio, in Church Street, Sheringham, in 1905.
As her demand for her skills as a portrait photographer grew, she began dividing her time between London and north Norfolk, opening further studios in Notting Hill, Cromer and Farnham, Surrey, and taking some of the earliest colour photographs using the ‘autochrome’ technique developed in France by the Lumiere brothers in the early 1900s.
Her subjects ranged from fishermen, to famous figures including Emmeline Pankhurst, David Lloyd George, King George VI, and writers George Bernard Shaw and Thomas Hardy.
A thirst for adventure saw her travel to Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Amazon and, as the first official female war artist, she photographed the battlefields of France and Belgium between 1918 and 1919 for the Imperial War Museum.
After her death in 1955, Ms Edis’s ashes were interred at Sheringham cemetery.
Her photographs are on display at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, the Imperial War Museum and Cromer Museum which, with 2,000 photographs, has the largest collection of her work.
Sheringham museum chairman of trustees Tim Groves, said the two exhibitions were of “huge” historical importance, both to the museum, and to the town.
He added: “They look at the different aspects of her life that made her such a successful and influential photographer, who not only photographed the people of Sheringham, but also high society.”
The exhibitions, entitled Olive Edis, The Road to Ypres and A Life in Focus, 1876-1955, run at Sheringham Museum until September 23. Admission is £4 (£2 children) and opening times are 10am-4.30 daily (Sundays midday-4pm). For more information, visit www.sheringhammuseum.co.uk
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