Wembley Park and Getty Images Gallery present ‘The Ages of Wembley’ exhibition
Wembley Park, North West London’s world-famous cultural neighbourhood, is delighted to announce Getty Images Gallery’s first exhibition in its new gallery space on Olympic Way.
‘The Ages of Wembley’ opens on 28 June as the first of a year-long programme of exhibitions presented by the curatorial team at Getty Images Gallery in a new space situated in Olympic Way, one of London’s iconic public spaces. Sourced from the world-renowned Getty Images’ archival and contemporary libraries, many of the photographs have never been seen before and are only now being discovered and shown as part of this exhibition.
The exhibition charts the emergence of Wembley Park as a world-famous leisure and entertainment destination from the 1920s onwards, highlighting parallels and references between historic uses of the area and recent developments. Building on this international reputation, Wembley Park has in recent years been transformed and is now a landmark destination and place to live, with culture, entertainment and a community at its heart.
Wembley Park was developed in the 1890s as a large and popular recreational space including sports- grounds, teahouses, lake and variety theatre. Images include photographs of the construction of the famous Wembley Stadium’s iconic twin towers, completed just in time to hold the 1923 FA Cup Final, which attracted the largest football crowd ever recorded at the time.
There are several images featuring the ‘Empire Exhibition’ from 1925, attended by Queen Mary and King George V, and described by the British press in the day as the largest and most important exhibition since 1851. Photographs depict the complex building work of the ‘Empire Exhibition’ Pavilions as captured by A H Robinson (1864-1950). Robinson was a gifted amateur photographer who mastered the unusual art of panoramic photography with flair and artistry using his clockwork Kodak Panorama camera. Recognised as pioneering in the field, prints of his work are valued highly by collectors.
Moving into the 1930s, the images depict the passion of fans supporting their teams as they celebrate the excitement of making it to the home of British football; from the West Bromwich Albion FC fan waving his rattle and cheering as he makes his way to Wembley Stadium to the crowds of football fans pouring into the Stadium grounds for the Cup Final.
The exhibition also displays images of the changing face of Wembley Park in the 1940s with the first launch of Olympic Way, leading from Wembley Park Station to Wembley Stadium that was built in preparation for the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. It provides an interesting historical context on the area, which has been transformed in recent years into an exciting cultural neighbourhood, with 5,750 new homes being created in addition to the 1,750 already built.
Getty Images Gallery, Wembley Park, is part of the area’s ambitious cultural programme, which builds on the area’s global reputation for sport, music and live entertainment. The ambitious cultural strategy for the area includes affordable artist studios, run by Second Floor Studios & Arts, a public art programme and extensive cultural programming and events, most of which are available free of charge. Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, a new flexible 1,000-2,000 seat capacity theatre that is being created inside the former Fountain Studios, will welcome the National Theatre’s War Horse later this year. Wembley Park is fast establishing its credentials as a new creative hub for North West London, and is a key strategic partner of Brent Borough of Culture 2020.
James Saunders, Chief Operating Officer, Wembley Park, comments:
‘The opening of Getty Images Gallery is another key milestone in the transformation of Wembley Park. The exhibition will give a fascinating insight into the area’s history and reflect on its longstanding reputation as a leading destination for sport, leisure and entertainment. A legacy that is truer now than ever before, we’re delighted to welcome the gallery to our growing cultural programme that is making Wembley Park a great place to live, work and visit’.
Councillor Muhammed Butt, Mayor of Brent, comments:
‘Wembley Park has always been at the heart of our community in the London Borough of Brent. An opportunity to reflect on the borough’s history, as we prepare to celebrate Brent as London Borough of Culture in 2020, The Ages of Wembley is a great reminder that we have always been recognised across the world as a landmark for entertainment’.
Amie Lewis, Director, Getty Images Fine Art Sales and Exhibitions comments:
“We are excited to support this new development with the opening of the Getty Images Gallery on Olympic Way in Wembley Park. The gallery will allow the public to view some never before seen images from the Getty Images Archives, celebrating the rich history of the area. We also look forward to working with local residents and developers to supply some unique artwork to celebrate their new living spaces.”
Printing has been overseen by Getty Images’ in house experts, and the photographs displayed have been taken from the original negatives where possible using traditional darkroom methods.
Offering a selection from 80 million photographs and growing, Getty images Gallery exhibits impactful contemporary works alongside vintage classics. A dedicated on-site team will be on hand to offer a full range of bespoke services from custom curation, print sales and framing.
All images are for sale.
‘The Ages of Wembley’ from 28 June
Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 10am to 7pm
Address: Getty Images Gallery, Olympic Way, Wembley Park HA9 0FJ
Find out more here.