Black British Celebrity Photographs Acquired By National Portrait Gallery

Simon Frederick,

Super model Naomi Campbell rapper Tine Tempah, and Journalist/newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald, are included in thirty-seven black British musicians, actors, politicians, models and sports stars who will feature in a major new National Portrait Gallery exhibition. Opening next year, the exhibition will also include actor Sir Lenny Henry, singer Laura Mvula and actress Thandie Newton.

We are proud to welcome these works into our collection

This will represent the NPG’s biggest acquisition of Afro-Caribbean sitters. Labour MP Chuka Umunna and sports stars Denise Lewis and Les Ferdinand will also be featured, along with Homeland actor David Harewood, former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman, Lord Bill Morris, the first black leader of a major trade union, and John Sentamu, Britain’s first black Archbishop. They were photographed by Simon Frederick, who originally took the shots for a BBC Two documentary Black Is The New Black. He has donated the entire portfolio to the gallery.

The collection also includes Thandie Newton and Edward Enninful. The images will be part of the gallery’s primary collection and will be the subject of a major display in November 2018. Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan said: “These striking portraits of black British sitters powerfully reflect the diversity and variety of contemporary British achievement in public life.”

The gallery’s head of photographs Phillip Prodger added: “We are proud to welcome these works into our collection, where they will be seen, enjoyed, and celebrated for generations to come.”

The presentation of British history through individual achievement, alongside discussions around national identity and representation in Britain today, places the National Portrait Gallery at the heart of British cultural life. It has developed an outstanding reputation for its displays, exhibitions, special projects and learning activities. In recent years the Gallery has experienced unprecedented interest in its collections and exhibition programme and in the demand for the services and activities offered. The Gallery remains determined to continue to meet this demand but knows that it will need to transform its facilities and refresh the public offer through a representation of its collections, redevelopment of the digital programme and changes to its physical spaces. if the Gallery is to maintain its position as a vibrant, world-class institution. The period of this Corporate Plan will be a critical phase in laying the foundation for this transformation.

Top Photo: Simon Frederick, Journalist Sir Trevor McDonald, model Naomi Campbell and rapper Tine Tempah courtesy NPG London