Lady Bridgeman's Pics

Harriet Bridgeman, the founder of Bridgeman Images, reveals her favourite images and footage in the archive 

1. What is your role at Bridgeman?

I founded Bridgeman Images in 1972, since I knew from my experience as an editor of illustrated books that there was a need for a central database of images. I also knew that museums needed help with their finances and so I originated the idea of handling the reproduction rights of their collections on their behalf and ensuring that they received 50% of any monies generated.

 

2. What do you love most about the job? 

I love the fact that I have to travel around the world seeking and acquiring new collections. That I work with people who are as interested in art as I am and also that I am able to provide jobs for History of Art graduates for whom the job market is not particularly easy.

 

3. What misconceptions do clients most commonly have about the archive?

We have recently changed the name of the company from the Bridgeman Art Library to Bridgeman Images because people were unaware of the extraordinary width of the collection which covers history, photography and every aspect of culture as well as the obvious art.

 

Harriet Bridgeman, founder of Bridgeman Images
Harriet Bridgeman, founder of Bridgeman Images

 

Lady Bridgeman's favourite images in the archive are...

 

Cahill Expressway, 1962/ Jeffrey Smart
Cahill Expressway, 1962/ Jeffrey Smart

 

 

1. Jeffrey Smart

 

Jeffrey Smart is an Australian surrealist artist who has recently died. I visited him in Tuscany and greatly enjoyed both his company and his paintings. His work is now beginning to fetch deservedly high prices in Australia. At the same time I visited Matthew Spender, the son of Stephen Spender whose photographic collection we now represent. 

 

2. Stanley Spencer

 

I met Stanley Spencer while I was still at school and have always been very impressed by this work. More recently I met his daughter Unity who told me that her father was very cross with her when he painted this picture as she had just cut her fringe!

 

Family Group Hilda, Unity and Dolls, 1937/ Stanley Spencer
Family Group Hilda, Unity and Dolls, 1937/ Stanley Spencer

 

 

Evelyn Waugh, 1963 (b/w photo)/ Mark Gerson
Evelyn Waugh, 1963 (b/w photo)/ Mark Gerson

 

 

3. Mark Gerson 

 

This was photographed by an old friend, Mark Gerson, who photographed all the great and the good in the art and literary world in the latter part of the last century. He told me that he was staying with the Waughs when he took this photograph and I have many memories of the amusing stories he told me of this time.

 

4. Lincoln Seligman

 

Lincoln Seligman is an artist who left a very successful job in banking to become an equally successful professional artist. I remember the exhibition in which this picture featured as he was generously donating half the proceeds to an Indian eye charity. Together we successfully fought a case against the piracy of one of his paintings, and as a result we were awarded a case of champagne and an out of court settlement!

 

Maharajah at Speed 2/ Lincoln Seligman
Maharajah at Speed 2/ Lincoln Seligman

 

 

Philip de László paints a model from Lucile fashion house
Philip de László paints a model from Lucile fashion house

 

 

5. Philip de László 

 

The de László archive was one of the first footage archives that we acquired thank to the generosity of the artist's grandson, Damon de László. It is a wonderful record of pre-war England, a society not dissimilar to the society featured in Downton Abbey!

 

6. Orlando Bridgeman

 

I have chosen this picture because there is an amusing story attached. We used to supply contemporary images for a City magazine called Risk. On one occasion they asked to reproduce a Bridget Riley but decided at the last minute that the copyright fee was too high. At precisely that moment my youngest son, Orlando, aged 8 walked in with this painting which he had just brought back from his art class. To my surprise and his delight, they chose it as an alternative!

 

A Family of Different Fishes, 1991/ Orlando Bridgeman
A Family of Different Fishes, 1991/ Orlando Bridgeman

 

Need help with a project?

Contact our sales team who can help you with research and copyright clearance. If you can't find what you are looking for, we can work with our collections to source it for you. New images and clips are being uploaded every day


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