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Elwin Neame

(1886-1923), Photographer and film director

Artist of 3 portraits
Stuart Elwin Neame opened his first studio at the age of 19 in Bristol, after attending the Bristol School of Art. The publication in 1905 of his portraits of Zena Dare, then on tour in Bristol, led to an invitation from Bassano's Ltd to become their chief operator. After three years he left to set up his own studio, first at Margravine Gardens, Baron's Court, and from 1909 at 4 Onslow Place, South Kensington. Whilst photographing contestants for the Daily Mirror beauty contest in 1908, he met his future wife and the competition winner Ivy Close, whom he helped launch as an important early British film star. A constant innovator who explored composite photography and photo-montage, Neame died aged only 37 in a motorcycle accident in Hyde Park. His son Ronald Neame briefly continued the studio before turning to film, first working with Alfred Hitchcock before establishing himself as a major film director.

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Renée Kelly, by Elwin Neame - NPG x29903

Renée Kelly

by Elwin Neame
chlorobromide print on card mount, mid 1910s
NPG x29903

Isobel Elsom, by Elwin Neame - NPG x137773

Isobel Elsom

by Elwin Neame
halftone reproduction tear sheet, published 24 May 1916
NPG x137773

Web image not currently available

Fay Compton

by Elwin Neame
bromide print, late 1910s
NPG x24812

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R.V. Field

15 October 2017, 00:32

Stuart Elwin Neame's parents were Louis Marsh Neame (born in Canterbury, Kent in 1848) and Sophia Annie Elwin (born in London in 1854). His father was the Chief Clerk at Bristol Corporation Granaries for over twenty years.
Stuart Elwin Neame was the youngest of three brothers and was born at Portishead, near Bristol.
His middle brother was William Elwin Neame born in 1877 at Canterbury, Kent, who initially worked as a bank clerk, but later became an accountant. He never married.
His oldest brother was Lawrence Elwin Neame (born in 1876 at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire). He married Ethel Macartney Grant, a divorced Australian, in Lorenzo Marques, Mozambique. He was a journalist at the Times of India and later at several newspapers in Africa; The Rand Daily Mail, The Star and The Cape Argus, where he became editor in 1939, famous for his leader writing. He was also the author of many well respected works about African politics.

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