Isle of Wight What's On Guide: 2024 Events OnTheWight

Marilyn Stafford: A Life in Photography

9 Jun – 17 Jul 2022


Dimbola Museums and Galleries

Terrace Lane
Freshwater Bay
PO40 9QE

01983 756 814

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Marilyn Stafford: A Life in Photography


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10th June - 16th October

Dimbola's summer show is a Retrospective of decades of archive photography by 96 year old Sussex photographer Marilyn Stafford.

The first ever retrospective exhibition of US born Sussex based photographer, Marilyn Stafford (b.1925), encompassing the most comprehensive display of the photographer’s work to date. Works come from an international archive spanning four decades, and include celebrity portraits, fashion shoots, street photography, humanitarian stories and newspaper reportage.

This exhibition, A Life in Photography provides a reflective and engaging look at a period of 20th century history through the photographer’s unique gaze. It will feature many of the stories from her career, which remain untold, with images never seen before by the public and specially organised expanded content such as a film about Marilyn’s life and more. This special touring exhibition has been curated by Nina Emett in collaboration with Stafford’s daughter Lina Clerke.

Marilyn Stafford’s photography career got off to a remarkable start when she was invited, as a young woman, to take stills of Albert Einstein. Since then, she has accumulated an eclectic body of work, spanning from 1948-1980, including further portraits of famous and influential figures such as Edith Piaf, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Mulk Raj Anand, Indira Gandhi, Albert Finney, Twiggy and Joanna Lumley. She has also photographed many ordinary people like the illiterate Sicilian peasant woman, Francesca Serio, who took the Mafia to trial for murdering her son.

Stafford has also engaged in street photography, mainly in the 1950s, documenting the Parisian children of the Cité Lesage-Bullourde neighbourhood living in slum housing conditions as well as the bustling, and sometimes downtrodden, street life of Boulogne-Billancourt.

An accompanying retrospective book of her work Marilyn Stafford: A Life in Photography will be available from our shop and includes an essay by art critic Jennifer Higgie and a foreword by the late photojournalist Tom Stoddart. Prints and cards will also be available to purchase throughout the exhibition.