Press Release: Sandra Lousada: Work and Performance

29 November 2011

From 28 November 2011 until 20 May 2012
Bookshop Gallery
Admission Free

A new display at the National Portrait Gallery celebrates the fifty year career of photographer Sandra Lousada. The twenty one portraits on display depict key figures in literature, film and fashion from the early 1960s and form the first display of work by Lousada at the Gallery. Sandra Lousada: Work and Performance runs in the Bookshop Gallery from 28 November 2011 until 20 May 2012.

The Gallery has recently acquired forty portraits by Lousada and the display will show highlights taken between 1960 and 1964, many of which feature in her book Public Faces Private Places (2008). Lousada captured the leading figures in the arts including actors Sarah Miles, James Fox, Vanessa Redgrave and Hayley Mills, composer Arthur Bliss, writers Richard Hughes and Laurie Lee and sculptor Lynn Chadwick. The display will also include previously unseen portraits of models Jean Shrimpton and Celia Hammond taken on assignment for Queen magazine. Formal commissioned portraits are shown alongside behind the scenes photographs taken on films sets and unguarded portraits of sitters captured at home. Lousada says: ‘They did relax, those people, they trusted me not to be selling pictures all over the place. I did get the sort of picture you wouldn’t normally get with stars because they knew and trusted me. I think if they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have been so relaxed.’

Sandra Lousada was born in London in 1938 and grew up surrounded by actors, writers and artists living alongside the River Thames in Hammersmith. Eager to find her own means of self-expression she studied photography at the Regent Street Polytechnic, during which time she also assisted the photographer Douglas Glass. Initially Lousada found it difficult to find work as a photographic assistant or get commissions in the male dominated photography industry in the late 1950s. One of her first commissions was to travel to Wales to photograph the writer Richard Hughes. This commission was a turning point in her career as a portrait from the shoot with Hughes appeared on the cover of the New York Times literary supplement the day Lousada arrived in New York on her first trip to America. She went on to work for Mademoiselle, Harpers & Queen, Tatler and Vogue and has worked as a successful theatre and portrait photographer, as well as in the worlds of fashion, beauty and advertising. Her most recent book London Light was published in 2010 and some of her photographs are currently on display in the Rothko in Britain exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Sandra Lousada’s book, Public Faces Private Places: Portraits of Artists 1956-2008, (published by Frances Lincoln), is available from the Gallery at an exclusive price of £15.00 (RRP £25.00) during the display. The book is also available with an exclusive mounted signed Contact Sheet Print of James Fox and Sarah Miles at a special price of £50.00.

For further press information and image requests please contact: Eleanor Macnair , Press Office, National Portrait Gallery Tel: 020 7321 6620 (not for publication) Email:; To download images:

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE. Opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm) Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am – 9pm  (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm) Nearest Underground: Leicester Square/Charing Cross Recorded information: 020 7312 2463  General information: 020 7306 0055  Website:

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