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Curating

Helen has curated over twenty exhibitions spanning the history of photography. Her curatorial practice is underpinned by her deep commitment to broadening access to collections. Her creative ambition to tell new narratives about underrepresented histories is met by her passion for building collaborative partnerships. Helen is a committed advocate for the civic role of archives and special collections to encourage dialogue, facilitate cultural exchange and inspire positive social change. From 2018-2019, Helen was part of the Museums Association Transformers Program, a leadership program addressing the civic role of museums in contemporary society. 

Helen is available for new commissions and collaborations – get in touch via e-mail

Selected Exhibitions and Curatorial Projects:

Prince Albert: His Life and Legacy

Project Manager and Lead Curator

From 2017-2020, Helen was project manager and lead curator of this collaborative digitisation project, which will make available some 23,500 items from the Royal Collection, Royal Archives and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Explore more at albert.rct.uk

A general view of Rome by T Carr, 1854 © Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2020

Photo50, London Art Fair

17-21 January 2018

Curated by Hemera Collective, which specialises in photography and lens-based media. Helen is a former member and contributed to Photo50 in 2018.

© Foundland Collective, The New World, Episode 1, 2017, video still. (http://www.foundland.info/)

Photographic Collections Network

Researcher and Advisor

2017

PCN is an organisation which protects and shares the UK’s diverse photographic collections and archives. Helen was a researcher and advisor for the network during its inaugural year.

Parsons’ Works on Shields Road, Newcastle, UK by Unknown Photographer. Collection: Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Josef Breitenbach Research Fellowship, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona

2016

Project ‘Shared Vision: Experiments in Photography Education: 1945-1975’ sought to examine the history of photography education in the US in the post-war period.

Photography class at Black Mountain College © Barbara Morgan / Western Regional Archives, State Archives of North Carolina

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon 

2 July – 18 October 2015

Co-curator

This record-breaking exhibition organised with support from the Audrey Hepburn Estate, examined the development and lasting legacy of Hepburn’s image.

Installation photograph © Tori Miller / National Portrait Gallery, London

Snowdon: A Life in View

26 September 2014 – 21 June 2015

This display celebrated a major gift of photographs from Lord Snowdon to the National Portrait Gallery in 2013, and coincided with a new monograph published by Rizzoli.

Installation photograph © Tori Miller / National Portrait Gallery, London

Michael Peto Photographs: Mandela to McCartney 

17 September 2013 – 1 June 2014

This series of displays in London, Edinburgh and New York, organised in collaboration with the University of Dundee, explored the work of photojournalist Michael Peto.

Installation photograph © Tori Miller / National Portrait Gallery, London

Man Ray Portraits 

7 February – 27 May 2013

Associate Curator

This first major museum retrospective of Man Ray’s innovative photographic portraits featured over a hundred works surveying his career in America and Paris between 1916-68.

Self-portrait with Camera by Man Ray, 1930. © 2008 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris 2012

Fred Daniels: Cinema Portraits 

28 September 2012 – 24 March 2013

This display celebrated the career of Fred Daniels, pioneer of ‘stills’ and portrait photography, known especially for his work with filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger including on A Matter of Life and Death (1946).

Filming Victoria the Great (1937) by Fred Daniels © Estate of Fred Daniels

Twentieth Century Portraits: Photographs by Dmitri Kasterine 

11 September 2010 – 3 April 2011

Dmitri Kasterine began his career working for Jocelyn Steven’s Queen magazine before enjoying a long association with film director Stanley Kubrick. This display of portraits presented a cross section of major cultural figures of the twentieth century.

Dame Muriel Spark by Dmitri Kasterine, 1978. © Dmitri Kasterine (https://www.kasterine.com/)

Format Photography Agency: 1983-2003 

21 January – 8 August 2010

Format photographers documented epoch changing events such as the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (1981-2000) and the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike; and participated in movements that brought social change.

Detail from panorama of women protestors at Greenham Common, 1983 © Estate of Raissa Page

Jane Bown: Exposures 

1 December 2009 – 5 April 2010

This display coincided with the publication of Jane Bown’s book Exposures (2009). Photographs for The Observer, such as her classic 1976 study of Samuel Beckett, were shown alongside unpublished pictures for the first time. 

© Estate of Jane Bown