In August 2015, Norfolk Museums Service (NMS) was awarded an £81,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to tell the fascinating story of Olive Edis, Britain’s first official female war photographer.
Back in 2008 Cromer Museum was offered a large collection of over 2,000 images made up of prints, glass plate negatives and autochromes (the first commercially available colour process) from Edis’ studios in Sheringham, Cromer, Farnham and London. Cromer Museum raised £40,000 of funding which not only paid for the collection itself but also a two year image digitisation project, storage in archivally stable boxes, a display within the Museum and a teacher’s pack.
Now, with the grant from HLF and additional funding from the Friends of Cromer Museum, the Olive Edis project aims to share the collection with the world and boost awareness of Olive Edis’ inspirational life and work.
A major exhibition at Norwich Castle running from 8th October 2016 to 22nd January 2017, will bring her story to life, and a travelling exhibition of her war photography (The Road to Ypres: The Photography of Olive Edis) will go on tour from March 2017. Brand new displays at Cromer Museum will provide a permanent home for the Olive Edis collection from March 2017. A range of workshops and talks will be on offer, and young people will have the opportunity to follow in her footsteps with practical photography sessions, research and drama workshops.
This blog is designed to accompany the project, giving insight into the life and work of this pioneering woman. The majority of posts are from Liz Elmore, Project Assistant for the project, but there will occasionally be guest posts too.
As part of the project, we have published a book about the life and work of Olive Edis. Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis by Alistair Murphy and Elizabeth Elmore is available from the gift shops at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and Cromer Museum. You can order a copy by post by contacting Maria Wong, Retail Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning Norwich Castle on 01603 495897. A member of our Visitor Services team will be able to connect you to the shop. The book will also be available at future venues for our travelling exhibition, The Road to Ypres: The War Photography of Olive Edis, where possible.
Olive Edis: Britain’s First Official Female War Photographer has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to share her work and story with a wider audience.