Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case TECHS

Vin in Chair

Photograph
2002 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Photographer Charlie Phillips moved to London from Jamaica in 1956 and began to document his Notting Hill community. His photographs are a visual record of city life and local heroes, showing the impact of the black population on British culture.

London’s music scene increasingly featured the American and Caribbean sounds of soul, funk, reggae and ska during the 1960s. The Jamaican sound system concept was a popular vehicle for this music, in which crews of DJs and MCs led by a sound system operator played the latest records on large custom-built speaker systems. Starting at British Caribbean house parties and then taking residency at clubs, British sound systems, and the sound clash events in which the system crews competed, gained a strong following.

Vincent Forbes, known by the stage name ‘Duke Vin’ (1928-2012), was one of the first and most popular sound system operators in Britain. He moved to England in 1954 and created his sound system a year later, building on experience he had gained working as a DJ in Kingston, Jamaica as part of Tom ‘the Great Sebastian’ Wong’s renowned sound system.

The V&A acquired ten photographs by Charlie Phillips as part of the Staying Power project. This selection includes photographs of the Cue Club owned by Duke Vin’s rival Count Suckle. Photographs by Dennis Morris of sound systems in the 1970s were also acquired. 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.
read Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience Working in partnership with Black Cultural Archives, we identified and acquired photographs taken by black photographers, or which document the lives of black people in Britain, taken between the 1950s – 90s.
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Charlie Phillips, 'Vin in Chair', gelatin silver print, 2002
Physical Description
A black and white photograph of an elderly black man sitting on a white garden chair looking directly into the camera. He is sat against the outside of a house underneath a window with bottles of beer lined along the ledge. He is tilting back slightly in the chair and is holding a selection of 12 inch records.
Dimensions
  • Image size height: 255mm
  • Image size width: 206mm
  • Paper size height: 254mm
  • Paper size width: 204mm
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
Photographer Charlie Phillips moved to London from Jamaica in 1956 and began to document his Notting Hill community. His photographs are a visual record of city life and local heroes, showing the impact of the black population on British culture.



London’s music scene increasingly featured the American and Caribbean sounds of soul, funk, reggae and ska during the 1960s. The Jamaican sound system concept was a popular vehicle for this music, in which crews of DJs and MCs led by a sound system operator played the latest records on large custom-built speaker systems. Starting at British Caribbean house parties and then taking residency at clubs, British sound systems, and the sound clash events in which the system crews competed, gained a strong following.



Vincent Forbes, known by the stage name ‘Duke Vin’ (1928-2012), was one of the first and most popular sound system operators in Britain. He moved to England in 1954 and created his sound system a year later, building on experience he had gained working as a DJ in Kingston, Jamaica as part of Tom ‘the Great Sebastian’ Wong’s renowned sound system.



The V&A acquired ten photographs by Charlie Phillips as part of the Staying Power project. This selection includes photographs of the Cue Club owned by Duke Vin’s rival Count Suckle. Photographs by Dennis Morris of sound systems in the 1970s were also acquired. 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
Bibliographic Reference
"The early sound systems were basic affairs built around a single record deck a valve amp and a speaker. But by the 1950’s they had grown to purpose built speakers the size of wardrobes that could be heard many blocks away. The larger these systems the better. Record producer Bunny ‘Striker’ Lee would remember from the time “sound system was like our radio station…not many people on the island would own a wireless, so it was the way for the people to hear their music”. These ‘House of Joys’ as they were affectionately known were run by the likes of Tom the Great Sebastian who would have people like the legendary Duke Vin [who would go on to be the first system operator in England when he emigrated 3 years later] spinning his tunes." - Unknown source
Collection
Accession Number
E.263-2011

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJuly 12, 2011
Record URL