Audrey Hepburn exhibition

20 May 2015


Thirty-five important photographs of Audrey Hepburn from the personal collection of her sons, Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti, will go on rare UK display in the National Portrait Gallery’s summer exhibition Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon. This major photography exhibition, which will explore the life and career of the celebrated film star, is the first British exhibition to be organised with support from the Audrey Hepburn Estate.

Included in the selection of photographs lent to the exhibition by Sean Hepburn Ferrer and Luca Dotti, some of which have never been seen before in the UK, will be a portrait of Hepburn performing a dance recital in 1942, aged thirteen, and a rarely seen photograph of her taken on location in Africa during the filming of The Nun’s Story by Leo Fuchs in 1958. Also included will be a behind-the-scenes photograph of Hepburn wearing a costume designed by Edith Head during a fitting for her title role in Sabrina (released 1954).

This remarkable selection of photographs includes an array of images of Hepburn taken throughout her lifetime, from early photographs of her before she was famous to formal portraits and photographs taken on set during the making of some of her most loved films. The earliest portrait on loan from the collection of the Audrey Hepburn Estate is from 1938, showing Hepburn as a nine-year-old girl, and the most recent is from her last major photo shoot, taken by Steven Meisel in 1991.

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon (2 July – 18 October 2015) will explore Hepburn’s fascinating life and career as a celebrated film star, fashion icon and humanitarian. The exhibition will follow Hepburn’s rise to fame, from her early years in the Netherlands and as a dancer and chorus girl in London’s West End, to her becoming a stage and screen icon, and culminating in her philanthropic work in later life. The exhibition will showcase rarely seen photographs from the Audrey Hepburn Estate along with iconic portraits of Hepburn by leading photographers of the twentieth century, including Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Angus McBean, Irving Penn, Terry O’Neill and Norman Parkinson.

Co-curated by Terence Pepper HonFRPS, Senior Special Advisor on Photographs, National Portrait Gallery and Helen Trompeteler, Associate Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon will follow the captivating rise of one of the world's first truly international stars. Pepper has curated a number of high profile photographic exhibitions for the Gallery, including Cecil Beaton Portraits (2004), Angus McBean Portraits (2006), Vanity Fair Portraits (2008) and previously worked with Trompeteler on Man Ray Portraits (2013). Trompeteler’s past displays include Snowdon: A Life in View (2014), Fred Daniels: Cinema Portraits (2012) and Format Photography Agency (2010).

2 July – 18 October 2015, National Portrait Gallery, London

Admission charges:
Including voluntary donation: Adult £10 / Concessions £8.50
Standard price: Adult: £9 / Concessions £7.50

Image: © Leo Fuchs, Audrey Hepburn on location in Africa for The Nuns Story, 1958