LONDON EVENING STANDARD
Friday 14 October 2016
Celebrity photographs saved from demolition site go on show a the National Portrait Gallery
The photographs would have been lost forever had they not been rescued 48 hours before the building was bulldozed
A hoard of forgotten photographs have found a new home in the National Portrait Gallery after they were rescued from a warehouse due for demolition.
The pictures, taken in the Nineties by The Douglas Brothers, feature stars such as Daniel Day-Lewis, Damon Albarn and Tilda Swinton. The brothers, who became famous for using old-fashioned techniques to create sepia prints, put them into storage in 1995 when they quit the UK — and photography — to move to Hollywood and make films.
Andrew Douglas said it took the storage company over a year to track him and and his brother Stuart down and warn them about what was happening, so they could send their manager Tim Fennell to rescue the pictures. Stuart said: “The building was about to be demolished. Ten years of work came very close to ending up as landfill.”
Mr Fennell said: “I received a phone call asking me to drop everything and clear a lock-up. I had 48 hours before the building was bulldozed. I retrieved 30 crates of negatives and prints that hadn’t seen the light of day for nearly two decades. It was a remarkable body of work, just sitting there, forgotten.”
Fourteen of the best pictures have been accepted into the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection and will go on show next August.
The gallery’s head of photographs Dr Phillip Prodger said the brothers produced some of the “most distinctive portraits of the Nineties”, adding the “pictures are still as exciting as the day they were made”.