P1110573 - Copy (4)
Brian Hinton with Marilyn's daughter, Lina


P1110569 - Copy (2)At the launch of Dimbola Museum and Galleries’ latest exhibition, ‘Marilyn Stafford A Life in Photography’, Brian Hinton MBE, Chairman of the Cameron Trust, said that he was particularly pleased to welcome Lina, Marilyn’s daughter, to the event together with the curator of the exhibition Nina Emmet.

Brian explained that a book had been compiled of some of the work on show and that prints were also available, a special concession for Dimbola.

After the showing of a 10-minute video, made a few years ago, in which Marilyn speaks about her life in photography, Nina proceeded in sharing with the invited guests the history of Marilyn’s collection of photographs.

Article continues below this advertisement

Following a full description of how she had met with Marilyn, Nina explained how Marilyn had handed over her photography collection to her for safekeeping, cataloguing and enhancement so that an exhibition could be planned for public view. A previous showing had taken place in Brighton prior to the opening in Freshwater.

This exhibition of Marilyn’s work covers the period 1948 to 1980 and will now be on display at Dimbola until 16th October.

Several countries are covered within the exhibition and Nina led the invited guests on a tour of the World with displays in the various galleries at Dimbola.

This retrospective exhibition gives the viewer a chance to compare Marilyn’s work with the pioneering work of Julia Margaret Cameron.

Born in Cleveland, USA in 1925. Marilyn Stafford (nee Gerson) has lived in West Sussex for the last 5 years. She trained as a singer and actress and by 1946, had moved to New York. A friend gave her a rolleiflex camera and she undertook some photographic work between acting assignments.

Article continues below this advertisement

By 1948 she began a 10-year stay in Paris, where she shot both Haute Couture and ready-to-wear fashion. Using a documentary-style format on the streets most of these shots show Paris with backgrounds of buildings and passers-by, as well as the models.

In 1956, she married a British foreign correspondent, Robin Stafford. They had a daughter, Lina who later helped her mother with photographic projects and for the launch of this exhibition had travelled to Freshwater to see her mother’s work.

By 1958. Marilyn was in North Africa, in Tunisia and during the Algerian War of independence. She then moved on to Rome, capturing scenes from the city before moving on to Lebanon when her husband was posted there.

Marilyn and her husband separated in the mid-1960s but travel and work continued for her with trips around the World including India where she photographed Indira Gandhi, both formally and informally.

Article continues below this advertisement

Back in London her subjects included a Jean Muir fashion collection, Twiggy, Joanna Lumley and Sir Patrick Moore on the ‘Sky at Night’ set.

Marilyn’s collection of photographic works certainly documents some World history and answering questions about the work, Lina said that her mother’s work not only told various stories but documented their family life.

In 2017 Marilyn set up the Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Award for women.


Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

Join our daily newsletter

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets