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  • photograph
    Parkinson, Norman, born 1913 - died 1990
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    London (photographed)

  • Date:

    1930s (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Parkinson, Norman, born 1913 - died 1990 (photographer)

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 1029

Norman Parkinson was born in London (birth name Ronald William Parkinson Smith). He was educated at Westminster School (1927-31) and began a career in photography in 1931 as an apprentice to the Bond Street Court Photographer Richard Speaight. In 1934, he set up the Norman Parkinson studio with Norman Kibblewhite at One Dover Street, specialising in portraiture. His first solo exhibition was staged in 1935 and included portraits of Vivien Leigh and Noel Coward. In the same year, he was recruited by Harper’s Bazaar to take editorial photographs. During the Second World War, Parkinson served as a reconnaissance photographer over France for the Royal Air Force.
He embarked on a long assosciation with British Vogue in 1942, becoming one of the magazine’s star photographers. From 1960 to 1964, he was an Associate Contributing Editor of Queen magazine. In the 1960s, he began taking official portraits for the British Royal Family. He was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and was appointed CBE in 1981. In the same year, a major retrospective of his work was held at the National Portrait Gallery, marking his fiftieth year in photography. Parkinson continued to work as a freelance photographer until his death in 1990, while on assignment in Singapore. Throughout his long career, Parkinson charmed his sitters with his idiosyncratic persona and elegant style and he is remembered today as one of fathers of modern fashion photography.

Physical description

A black and white, signed photograph of a woman wearing a wedding dress standing in front of a marble pillar. Her arms are raised and a veil covers her head. A bouquet of lilies rests on top of the marble pillar

Place of Origin

London (photographed)


1930s (photographed)


Parkinson, Norman, born 1913 - died 1990 (photographer)

Marks and inscriptions

616G written on reverse of mount
Photograph signed by Norman Parkinson


Width: 22.2 cm image, Height: 29 cm image, Width: 37.8 cm mount, Height: 50.6 cm mount

Descriptive line

A photograph by Norman Parkinson from a series of seven photographs of model Bettine Milton in wedding dress by Colin Becke, vintage gelatin silver print, mid-1930s


Photographic paper


Silver gelatin process; Photography


Fashion; Photographs; Marriage


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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