It has been announced that the National Portrait Gallery has acquired its largest group of Afro-Caribbean sitters portraits. 

P2034_Trevor McDonald
Sir Trevor McDonald, 2016 (c) Simon Frederick. 

The National Portrait Gallery has acquired thirty-seven portraits of black Britons chosen for their achievements in politics, business, culture, religion and science, that will form a part of a major display at the Gallery in November 2018.

Each of the portraits of represent  a group of people at the height of their achievements and were photographed by Simon Frederick for a BBC Two documentary Black is the New Black.  With the support of OATH, Simon Frederick has offered the entire portfolio of thirty-nine prints as a gift to the National Portrait Gallery.

The prints include images of model Naomi Campbell, newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald, actress Thandie Newton, musicians Jazzie B of Soul II Soul, Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah, footballer Les Ferdinand and recently appointed Editor in Chief of British VogueEdward Enninful.

Other images include Maggie Aderin-Pocock, presenter of The Sky at Night; David Harewood, celebrated for his role in the Showtime series Homeland; former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, who has explored racism through her writing for children and young adults; Lord Morris, who became the first black leader of a major trade union in 1992; and John Sentamu who was appointed Archbishop of York in 2005, becoming Britain’s first black Archbishop.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘These striking portraits of black British sitters powerfully reflect the diversity and variety of contemporary British achievement in public life. The National Portrait Gallery is delighted to receive Simon Frederick’s very generous gift of photographs.’

Artist, photographer and director Simon Frederick’s work spans from celebrity portraiture to art exhibitions to global advertising campaigns and TV. He is known for his recent role as a lead judge and co-host alongside Isabella Rossellini on the Sky Arts programme Master of Photography and for his series Black is the New Black on BBC TWO.

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