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Exhibition Review: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery from 18 October 2018 to 27 January 2019

The National Portrait Gallery presents the annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition which features one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world. Since the international competition began in 1993, it has remained an important platform for portrait photographers and offers an opportunity for professionals and amateurs to have their work shown to a wider audience.

The prize-winning photographs and those selected for inclusion in the exhibition were chosen from 4,462 submissions entered by 1,973 photographers from 70 countries. A total of 57 portraits from 49 artists have been selected for display.

The winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 worth £15,000 is South African photographer Alice Mann for her portrait series on the all-female teams of drum majorettes in South Africa’s Western Province.

The winner of the £3,000 Second Prize is Enda Bowe for his photograph of a London mother holding her baby, entitled Clapton Blossom that focuses on the residents of a housing estate in Clapton, east London.

The joint winners of the Third Prize, each receiving £2,000, are Max Barstow for his double portrait of a pair of shoppers taken in London

and Joey Lawrence for his photograph of a child from a remote village in the jungle of Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province.

Claudia Legge Conservation Heroes from the series Borana’s Unseen Conservationists London, UK

The images around the exhibition explore many different aspects of the photographic portrait and feature a few famous faces but more often the friends and family of the photographers. This year, a number of photographers have explored many different areas around the world and especially areas of conflict.

Carla van de Puttelaar Portrait of Marta Weiss and her Daughter Penelope from the series Artfully Dressed: Women in the Art World Zaandam

In a competition of this size, the standard is always high and the various subject matter wide-ranging which makes it very difficult to choose winners with many photographers  displaying technical expertise and a strong narrative.

This year’s exhibition also features previously unseen prints from a new body of work by Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi. The prints are part of the In Focus display, an annual showcase for new work by an internationally renowned photographer.

This enjoyable exhibition is always interesting and entertaining with some wonderful contemporary portraits, the range of photographs offer a wide variety of subject matter which provides evidence of the large number of talented photographers using their skills to record all facets of the human condition.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide.com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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A Short Guide to the National Portrait Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery owes its existence mainly to three eminent Victorians, Philip Henry Stanhope, Thomas Babington Macaulay and Thomas Carlyle. Stanhope first introduced the idea for the Gallery in 1846, however it was not until 1856 when The National Portrait Gallery was formally established. One of the first pictures donated was by one of the original trustees Lord Ellesmere.

Unusually the National Portrait Gallery was established with the criteria that the Gallery was to be about history, more than art, and centred around the status of the sitter. Originally, it was decided by the Trustees that “No portrait of any person still living, or deceased less that 10 years, shall be admitted by purchase, donation, or bequest, except only in the case of the reigning Sovereign, and of his or her Consort”. However this rule changed in 1969 to encourage portraits of living sitters.

In the early years of the Gallery, it had no permanent home and was run by George Scharf, an illustrator who was responsible for all aspects of the Gallery. Originally housed at 29 Great George Street, Westminster. The Gallery then moved to the Royal Horticultural Society’s buildings on Exhibition Road in South Kensington in 1869, following a fire, the collection was then moved to the Bethnal Green Museum in 1885.

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There were calls to find a permanent home for the Gallery, In 1889, philanthropist, William Henry Alexander offered to pay for a permanent building, provided the government gave a site within a mile and a half of St James’s Street, and Lord Salisbury for the government accepted the offer and donor’s condition and found a site which had previously been occupied by St Martin’s Workhouse to the north-east of the National Gallery.

The doors were opened in 1896 and 4,200 people visited the new building on the opening day. Its success led to a growing collection and negotiations for expansion. In 1928 the art dealer and benefactor, Sir Joseph Duveen agreed to fund a £40,000 extension, which greatly expanded the available space.

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In the late 1960s, two exhibitions, Cecil Beaton’s photographs in 1968 and the Queen’s portrait by Annigoni raised the profile of the Gallery considerably and attendance figures rose significantly.

There has further developments since and National Portrait Gallery is considered one of the best galleries in London and in 2014 received over two million visitors. As well as the permanent Collection, the Gallery stages six major exhibitions and more than ten special displays a year and runs a full and varied programme of events and an extensive learning and outreach programme. There is also an IT Gallery , a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, a book shop, and the roof-top Portrait Restaurant with views across Trafalgar Square.

Part of the Gallery’s success is the innovative way they bring together different portraits to tell the story of a person or event. They also promote portrait painting by holding several prestigious competitions.

For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here