Harry Hammond

Photography Centre, Rooms 99 – 101

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Acquired by the V&A in the 1980s, the Harry Hammond Photographic Collection comprises over 9,000 images, chronicling the British popular music scene in the 1950s and 60s, up to and including the emergence of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

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Harry Hammond (1920 – 2009) is regarded as the founding father of music photography. He photographed British and visiting American stars on and off stage for two decades. This collection features images of Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Cliff Richard, Eddie Cochran, The Animals, Dusty Springfield, and many more. It also includes the iconic portrait of Buddy Holly, which became the image for the long-running West End musical Buddy.

Collection Highlights

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The Beatles, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1960s, UK
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Dizzy Gillespie, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 20th century, UK
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Buddy Holly, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1958, UK
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Percy Dickens, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 20th century, UK
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Judy Garland, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1959, England
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Shirley Bassey, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1959, London, England
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Cliff Richard at the Chiswick Empire foyer, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1959, England
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Johnny Dankworth at the Studio 51 Club with Leon Calvert, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1956, England
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Marty Wilde, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1958, England
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Eartha Kitt in her dressing room, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 20th century, UK
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Elvis Presley at a Press Conference in Frankfurt, 1959, Germany
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Adam Faith at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert, photograph, by Harry Hammond, 1960s, UK

Features

Background image: Buddy Holly at the London Palladium, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1958, England. Museum no. S.12027-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London