Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case SP, Shelf 6

Portrait of a Woman, London

Photograph
1965 (photographed), 2012 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Born in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica in 1945, photographer Armet Francis moved to London at the age of ten to join his parents who had migrated there when he was three. By his mid-teens Francis was working as an assistant for a West End photographic studio. His early photographs offer a personal record of the world around him. The intimate perspective realised in the relaxed portrait of his mother invites the viewer to see her through his eyes.

The V&A acquired nine photographs by Armet Francis as part of the Staying Power project. Photographs by his contemporaries Neil Kenlock and Charlie Phillips were also acquired as part of the project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Armet Francis, 'Portrait of a Woman, London', gelatin silver print, 1965, printed 2012
Physical Description
A black and white photograph of a woman smiling, shown from the waist up. She wears a dark, short sleeved top, earrings and a necklace. She has a scar on her left upper arm and a gap between her two front teeth. In the background a set of double doors can be seen with net curtains in their windows.
Dimensions
  • Image width: 254mm
  • Image height: 259mm
  • Paper width: 305mm
  • Height: 406mm (Note: paper)
Style
Gallery Label
  • Armet Francis (born 1945) Portrait of a Woman, London Portrait of a Little Boy, London 1965 These portraits show the skills Francis learned working in a photographic studio as a teenager. The smiling woman is his mother. She paid him for the portrait since he was by then establishing himself as a professional photographer. Gelatin silver prints (printed 2012) Museum nos. E.109 to 110-2013
  • Text label for the exhibition, 'Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience, 1950s-1990s 16 February – 24 May 2015 Armet Francis (born 1945) Self-portrait in Mirror 1964 Francis was born in Jamaica and moved to London aged ten. He began his photographic career in his teens as an assistant in a photographic studio. Photographing himself in the mirror, Francis deliberately records his identity as a photographer. In contrast to the professional role suggested by the camera, the surrounding scene offers an intimate glimpse into Francis’s personal life. Gelatin silver print (printed 2012) Museum no. E.103-2013(16/02/2015-24/05/2015)
Credit line
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Object history
The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Born in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica in 1945, photographer Armet Francis moved to London at the age of ten to join his parents who had migrated there when he was three. By his mid-teens Francis was working as an assistant for a West End photographic studio. His early photographs offer a personal record of the world around him. The intimate perspective realised in the relaxed portrait of his mother invites the viewer to see her through his eyes.



The V&A acquired nine photographs by Armet Francis as part of the Staying Power project. Photographs by his contemporaries Neil Kenlock and Charlie Phillips were also acquired as part of the project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
E.109-2013

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record createdOctober 5, 2013
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