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Photograph - Uncle Cyril arriving for Tea
  • Uncle Cyril arriving for Tea
    Bennett, Michael, born 1954
  • Enlarge image

Uncle Cyril arriving for Tea

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1977 (made)
    1977 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bennett, Michael, born 1954 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Toned composite gelatin-silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Copyright Michael Bennett

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 1032, box A

Bennett made this portrait for a series of 36 that he titled ‘The Family’. The exhibition toured widely and was featured on television in 1977, in the BBC ‘Arena’ programme.

Bennett subsequently worked as a photomontage artist. He aimed ‘to arrive at a satirical or humorous end which is mass-published’. In 1989 his work featured in ‘The Satiric Verses’ in the magazine Private Eye.

Physical description

Gelatin-silver print photomontage; circular image of a man on amotorcycle. Behind him is a hedge, and behind that looms a McVities' 'Rich Tea' biscuit (oversized and making up the upper part of the image).

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1977 (made)
1977 (printed)


Bennett, Michael, born 1954 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Toned composite gelatin-silver print


Height: 4 cm, Width: 4 cm

Object history note

Since 1965 Michael Bennett has used photomontage - combining fragments of various images - to make a satirical or political comment. Uncle Cyril arriving for Tea, for example, was one of his first images, in which scale and incongruity are exploited to full comic effect. He has said that his "basic ideas are to manipulate images, to continually experiment, and to arrive at a satirical or humorous end which is mass published." In accordance with these aims, Bennett’s publications have included a series of postcards intended for cheap and widespread distribution.

Descriptive line

'Uncle Cyril arriving for Tea', Gelatin-silver print photomontage, Michael Bennett, 1977

Labels and date

Gallery 100 ‘A History of Photography’, 2014-2015, label text:

Michael Bennett (1954–)
‘Aunt Ena Watching Telly’, ‘Janet and the Kids Departing’, ‘Cousin Tony Looking For a Job’, ‘My Dad and a Rainy Day’, ‘Uncle Cyril Arriving For Tea’, ‘Sister Sally with Her Cat’, ‘My Mum at the Window of Our House’, ‘Uncle Ralph Relaxing’

These photographs record moments in the lives of Bennett’s extended family in Kent. They combine humour and charm with emotion and intimacy, prompting us to reflect on the relationships and values that characterise our own families.

Gelatin silver prints
Given by Michael Bennett
Museum nos. E.333, 332, 330, 334-2013, PH.1049-1978, E.338, 336, 335-2013
[06 03 2014]

Subjects depicted

Men; Crash helmets; Motorcyclists; Motorcycle; Biscuits; Hedges




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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