Harry Hammond

Photography Centre, Rooms 99 – 101

Plan a visit

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.

Read more
See less
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.

Exploring Harry Hammond

Photo of The Beatles, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1960s, UK. Museum no. S.9084-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Beatles, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1960s, UK. Museum no. S.9084-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Dizzy Gillespie, photograph by Harry Hammond, 20th century, UK. Museum no. S.11642-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Dizzy Gillespie, photograph by Harry Hammond, 20th century, UK. Museum no. S.11642-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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

Photo of Percy Dickens, photograph by Harry Hammond, about 1950, England. Museum no. S.10564-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Percy Dickens, photograph by Harry Hammond, about 1950, England. Museum no. S.10564-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Judy Garland, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1959, England. Museum no. S.11550-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Judy Garland, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1959, England. Museum no. S.11550-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Shirley Bassey, London Palladium dressing room, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1959, England. Museum no. S.9064-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Shirley Bassey, London Palladium dressing room, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1959, England. Museum no. S.9064-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Cliff Richard at the Chiswick Empire foyer, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1959, England. Museum no. S.14383-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Cliff Richard at the Chiswick Empire foyer, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1959, England. Museum no. S.14383-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Johnny Dankworth at the Studio 51 Club with Leon Calvert, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1956, England. Museum no. S.7307-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Johnny Dankworth at the Studio 51 Club with Leon Calvert, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1956, England. Museum no. S.7307-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Marty Wilde, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1958, England. Museum no. S.16183-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Marty Wilde, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1958, England. Museum no. S.16183-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Eartha Kitt in her dressing room, photograph by Harry Hammond, about 1950, UK. Museum no. S.12498-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Eartha Kitt in her dressing room, photograph by Harry Hammond, about 1950, UK. Museum no. S.12498-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Elvis Presley at a Press Conference in Frankfurt, 1959, Germany. Museum no. S.13972-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Elvis Presley at a Press Conference in Frankfurt, 1959, Germany. Museum no. S.13972-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photo of Adam Faith at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1960, England. Museum no. S.10921-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Adam Faith at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert, photograph by Harry Hammond, 1960, England. Museum no. S.10921-2009. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Learn more about Harry Hammond

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