A new display of portraits featuring the former director of the gallery Sir Roy Strong will be on view to the public from the 19th June, running until the end of August it has been announced.

Celebrating his 80th birthday this year, the portraits (with the help of photographer John Swannell) transport Sir Roy through time – reinventing him as a series of historical figures.

This display, as well as the book that is being released, is the finished product of a five year collaboration between the photographer and the sitter. Examples of the figures that Sir Roy Strong reinvents for this series of portraits include Henry VIII, Rasputin and President Abraham Lincoln.

Sir Roy Strong is a well known historian and garden writer who was director of the National Portrait Gallery from 1967-73 and the Victoria and Albert Museum from 1974-87. He was awarded the Shakespeare Prize in 1980 for his contribution to the arts in the UK and has published a number of highly acclaimed books.

Meanwhile, photographer John Swannell worked with David Bailey for four years before setting up his own studio and working for magazines such as Vogue and The Sunday Times. In 1993 he was awarded a Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society, one of the youngest members to achieved this. More recently, he was commissioned to take the only official portrait of The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Roy Strong at 80: Photographs by John Swannell is on display from the 19th June until the 31st August 2015. 

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