Lichfield: The Early Years

Past display archive
3 May - 31 August 2003

Balcony Gallery


Marsha Hunt
by Patrick Lichfield
October 1968
NPG x128488

This display celebrates the 40th anniversary of the start of Patrick Lichfield's life as a photographer and brings together over 30 of his most interesting early works, It focuses on his career as a leading participant and chronicler of the Swinging Sixties, including his period with Vogue, and follows on to his definitive and intimate photographs of HM The Queen and The Royal Family in the 1970s and 1980s, culminating with the wedding of The Prince of Wales in 1981.

Highlights from the 1960s include the group portrait Swinging London featuring Roman Polanski, David Hockney and Lady Antonia Fraser, as well as a nude portrait of Marsha Hunt for the musical Hair and a striking colour portrait of Yves St Laurent taken in Marrakesh. From the 1970s the selection includes portraits of Joanna Lumley, Michael Caine and an intimate portrait of Mick and Bianca Jagger at their wedding in St Tropez in 1971.

One screen in the Balcony Gallery will be devoted to portraits of The Royal Family, from Lichfield's first official royal sitting with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1967 and the large group portrait of 26 members of the Royal Family at Windsor (1971) to an intimate portrait of a young Prince Charles and Lady Sarah Armstrong Jones at Balmoral and refreshingly informal behind-the-scenes portraits from the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in July 1981.

'It has been an enormous pleasure to look back and select the images for this exhibition. I am fortunate that my career has brought me into contact with many interesting and beautiful people; my work is a permanent record of that,' commented Patrick Lichfield, who has a longstanding relationship with both OLYMPUS and EPSON and has fully embraced digital technologies in his current work. Lichfield's relationship with the former began in the 1970s through a series of advertising campaigns. Many of the photographs in the exhibition were taken using OLYMPUS cameras, and all have been digitally reproduced using EPSON technology and printed out on the large format EPSON Stylus Pro 9600 to give prints which rival traditional photographic processes, whilst allowing more flexibility.

About Patrick Lichfield

Patrick Lichfield first took to the camera at the age of six. After starting on his own in the early sixties he found an increasing demand for editorial work, most immediately Life and Queen Magazine and many national daily newspapers. His greatest break came when he was given a five year contract with American Vogue by Diana Vreeland. Hard on the heels of editorial work, came numerous advertising commissions worldwide. For a number of years he also undertook the prestigious Unipart Calendar. In 1981 he was appointed official photographer at the wedding of The Prince of Wales. More recently he has been commissioned to work for the British Tourist Authority, fulfilling both photographic and ambassadorial roles, and The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Patrick Lichfield has been awarded Fellowships of both The British Institute of Professional Photographers and The Royal Photographic Society. He appears regularly on television, has published many books on photography and his pictures have been exhibited throughout the world. A number of national and local charities are supported by his patronage.

Photographs from the Private View party, 6 May 2003