Collection of the week: The Sandra Lousada Collection

Sandra Lousada grew up amidst a circle of actors, writers and artists. Her grandfather was the writer and politician A. P. Herbert; her mother was stage designer Jocelyn Herbert and her near neighbours were the Redgrave family. Since childhood she has had privileged access to the worlds of literature, the arts, theatre and film. Surrounded by this wealth of diverse talents, she searched for a language of her own and by the late 1950s had found it, in photography.

We are delighted to welcome Sandra into our growing fold of prestigious photographers represented here at the library, and to introduce her fascinating body of work spanning the worlds of theatre, art, fashion and celebrity. Her passion for photography, stemming from her teenage years, is complemented by an instinct for putting her subjects at ease. The results are a series of frequently intimate portraits of a stellar cast of sitters including David Hockney, Edith Evans, Jean Shrimpton, Laurence Oliver and Benjamin Britten, often captured in moments of spontaneity at work or at home with family. Many of these were featured in the book, 'Public Faces Private Places, Portraits of Artists 1956-2008' published in 2009, and a subsequent 2012 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, 'Work and Performance', celebrated her fifty years as a working photographer.

Aside from her portrait work, Sandra's fashion photography follows changing trends and tastes over five decades. Her shoots for Petticoat magazine, aimed at young fashion-conscious women through the late sixties and early seventies, perfectly sum up the bright kookiness of the decade's 'youthquake' style, while her bridal fashion shoots from the 1980s are brimming with lush romance.

As Sandra continues to catalogue her archive, we will be adding more images in future. In the meantime, click here to see a selection from this grande dame of British photography.

Mary Evans Picture Library Ltd.  59 Tranquil Vale  Blackheath  London  SE3 0BS. United Kingdom.
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