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  • 18th May - 2nd July

1926: Britain Through a Lens

18th May - 9th July

It was the year when crime novelist Agatha Christie disappeared, two land speed records were set and a future Queen was born. The country was gripped by a general strike, John Logie Baird demonstrated television and Alfred Hitchock got married.

Drawn from the historical collections within Getty Images the photographs on display have all been printed by hand from the original glass plate negatives. They reveal Britain in the year that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was born, illustrating both the differences and the similarities between Britain today and ninety years ago.

The archives at Getty Images hold over 1200 separate collections of photography dating back to the inception of the medium. For this exhibition research was carried out using the original day books where each negative was meticulously recorded in longhand as well as the extensive files of prints organised by subject. Boxes of glass plates were looked through to identify images which cast light on daily life as well as the key events of the year.

The exhibition is a tribute not only to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but to the photographers with their cumbersome equipment who have provided us with such a rich visual legacy. It is also a showcase for the craftsmanship of our darkroom and conservation teams whose skill and dedication is clear to see.