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Dorothy Wilding – Opening Party

By 14th February 2023April 14th, 2023No Comments

Invitation to Opening Party for

Dorothy Wilding: 130 Photographs

A new, major exhibition to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the birth of Dorothy Wilding

18:30 – 21:00 Wednesday 8th March at 23 Bell Walk, Eastgate Centre, Gloucester, GL1 1AG

Parking: Eastgate Centre roof car-park; use postcode GL1 1XN for sat nav.

We’d love you to join us for the opening of the exhibition that marks the start of a year of initiatives around Gloucester’s pioneering photographer Dorothy Wilding.  

We’ve partnered with Sisters of the Lens, in association of the National Portrait Gallery, to bring this major new exhibition to the city. 

Dorothy’s inimitable style shaped an illustrious career in society portraits that she took in the 1930s and 40s. So, why not come dressed in puffy sleeves and frilly bows? Satins and silks, or flounces and frills? Maybe a tweed suit if you fancy, or accessorise with a beret or a tilt hat? There will be ample photo opportunities at our pop-up Photo Booth. So dress to the hilt we say!


As well as the iconic portraits of the young Queen Elizabeth, the exhibition will feature images of some of Dorothy’s famous sitters, including Tallulah Bankhead, Cecil Beaton, Noël Coward, Vivien Leigh, Joyce Grenfell and Barbara Cartland. Other works taken in her New York studio  will include iconic portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and new stars of the 1950s, Yul Brynner and Harry Belafonte.

What better way to ring in International Women’s Day, than by celebrating the life of the first woman to be appointed as the Official Royal Photographer, with the first exhibition of her work in the city where she was born.

Curated by Sisters of the Lens, the exhibition comprises some of Dorothy’s iconic portraits reprinted in a large, contemporary style alongside smaller original prints and ephemera including books, magazines, coins and stamps featuring Dorothy’s work.

The exhibition opens on 8th March at 18:30 and runs until the 23rd May.

This project has been made possible through the generous support of the Ampersand Foundation and the Association of Independent Museums New Stories New Audiences grant scheme, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

About Sisters of the Lens

Sisters of the Lens began as an Instagram account in January 2018, dedicated to promoting the work of early women photographers who worked from the 1850s-1960s.

Now an account with over 4000 followers, and an extensive website, Sisters of the Lens posts weekly content raising the profiles of lesser-known women photographers, and increasing the knowledge of well-known photographers through original research. The website also reflects Sisters of the Lens’ growing collection of photographs and items available for loan. We are delighted to share rare and important originals of Dorothy Wilding’s work for this exhibition with Hundred Heroines.

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#SistersOfTheLens @SistersOfTheLens

About The Ampersand Foundation

The Ampersand Foundation is a UK grant-awarding charity that exclusively supports the visual arts. The Foundation supports high-quality exhibitions and projects, provided they are free to the public at least one day per week. It also supports public collection expansion. The Foundation is focused mainly on supporting institutions and projects within the United Kingdom.

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About AIM

The Association of Independent Museums was established in 1977 to address the needs of the growing independent museum sector, providing a network of mutual help and support that would share good practice and create a singular voice for hundreds of organisations.

Today AIM continues that work, supporting and championing independent museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK.

In 2021, AIM launched the New Stories New Audiences grant, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It inspires museums to stay relevant to their audiences and to increase their impact through new stories and new partners. It is thanks to National Lottery players that projects like this can take place.

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