Wednesday 29 January 2020

Portraits of Dizzee Rascal, Sir Trevor McDonald and Naomi Campbell to go on display

The National Portrait Gallery has acquired portraits of 37 black Britons at the height of their achievements.

Sir Trevor McDonald (Simon Frederick)
Sir Trevor McDonald (Simon Frederick)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Some of Britain’s most successful black musicians, actors, politicians, models and sports stars are to be celebrated by a major display at the National Portrait Gallery.

Portraits of 37 black Britons at their height of their achievements – from Naomi Campbell to Sir Trevor McDonald to Dizzee Rascal – were acquired by the gallery to be displayed run next year.

Naomi Campbell (NPG/Simon Frederick/PA)

It is the gallery’s largest acquisition of portraits of Afro-Caribbean sitters and features Line Of Duty star Thandie Newton, singer Laura Mvula, ex-footballer Les Ferdinand, musician Tinie Tempah and recently appointed editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful.


Labour MP Chuka Umunna, Olympic gold-medallist Denise Lewis and comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry are also included in the line-up.

Simon Frederick, who photographed the individuals for BBC Two documentary Black Is The New Black, donated the entire portfolio to the gallery.

Laura Mvula (NPG/Simon Frederick/PA)

The display will also portraits of Homeland actor David Harewood, former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman, Lord Bill Morris, the first black leader of a major trade union, and John Sentamu, Britain’s first black Archbishop.

The photographs join the National Portrait Gallery’s primary collection and will be the subject of a major display in November 2018.

Thandie Newton (NPG/Simon Frederick/PA)

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said: “These striking portraits of black British sitters powerfully reflect the diversity and variety of contemporary British achievement in public life.”

Dr Phillip Prodger, head of photographs, said: “Photographing with sensitivity and insight, Simon Frederick has made extraordinary portraits of some of the most influential Britons of our time.

“We are proud to welcome these works into our collection, where they will be seen, enjoyed, and celebrated for generations to come.”

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