Lewis Morley's photography encompasses nearly 50 years beginning with his first published photographs in London in 1957. Morley quickly made a name for himself through his portrait work and reportage in 'Tatler' magazine, through theatre photography, and through his association with Peter Cook and David Frost and their various comedic and satiric ventures.
In 1963 Morley took the first fashion photographs of Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy and in this year he also took the infamous photograph of Christine Keeler (a version of which is in the collection at the Gallery).
After arriving in Sydney in 1971 Morley worked mainly in colour and for style magazines such as 'Belle', 'POL' and 'Dolly' until he sold his studio in 1987. Morley is still working and concentrating on organising his archive. In 1989 the National Portrait Gallery, London held a retrospective of his work and in 1992 his autobiography was published.
Lewis Morley's best work has a subtlety to it which places it outside most of his peers. Rather than rely on the hard grittiness of other photographers of 1960s London in their approach to the subject, Morley's training as a painter and interest in surrealism brought a softer and more quirky aspect to his work. The best of Morley's portrait and fashion work has spontaneity, further, his ability to find captured moments in the street which exhibit gracefulness and beauty is unusual for the time.
gelatin silver photograph
37.7 x 28.5 cm image; 39.2 x 30.3 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed l.r.c, black ink "Lewis Morley". Not dated.
Gift of David Knaus 2005
Not on display
© Lewis Morley/National Media Museum/Science & Society Picture Library