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The Vintage Guide To London | February 22, 2018

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Audrey Heburn: new photography exhibition

L.A born Bob Willoughby’s love of photography started with his first camera aged 12. He began his career working for Harper’s Bazaar but after photographing Judy Garland on the set of A Star is Born it wasn’t long before all the film studios wanted him. In 1953 Bob Willoughby met and became friends with Audrey Heburn who was working on Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck, and Bob was hired by Paramount Studios to capture the young starlet on set. Rebecca McWattie has been to the Proud Gallery in Chelsea to view an exciting new exhibition of these early pictures.

Willoughby’s photograph show a young woman radiant and full of excitement on her first trip to Hollywood and provide a fascinating glimpse into the working day of the Hollywood screen legend we all know and love. Audrey having her make-up touched up, travelling to work in the studio car or having her dress pinned because she was so petite.

In every picture we see Heburn’s angelic innocence that captured audiences around the world. Willoughby said of her ”Audrey never changed, even when she became famous. She was always the gracious lady. She had this remarkable way of looking into your eyes, which made you think ‘this is really a good friend of mine.”

This rare collection records the public and private life of Audrey in images spanning four decades, revealing a friendship and understanding between photographer and muse that becomes ever more apparent.

Bob Willoughby died in 2009 and was not only one of the most highly sought photographers of his generation, he pioneered photo-journalism with his candid and naturalistic methods and will continue to be celebrated and collected for future generations. His work is on permanent display at galleries around the world including The National Portrait Gallery, London and Washington.

Price to buy an original photograph featured in the exhibition range from £1,250 – £2,500 (ex Vat) for an unframed image with a limited edition of a few to 50, all come with a certificate of authenticity and some of the images are signed by Bob Willoughby. So, if you have some spare cash under your bed, I reckon this would be a good and rewarding investment! The exhibition has been extended to 10 July 2011 and is free to attend.

Proud Chelsea
161 King’s Road
London, SW3 5XP

Viewing times: Monday-Wednesday & Sunday 10.00am – 7.00pm, Thursday & Saturday 10.00am – 8.00pm

nearest tube:  Sloane Square
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