Fotomuseum aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht, the Netherlands, presents a retrospective of British celebrity photographer Terry O’Neill (1938-2019) until 10 September 2023. The exhibition Famous shows more than 125 portraits of international music legends, movie stars and fashion icons, particularly from the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to exclusive colourised editions, the focus is on classic black and white portraits.
Terry O’Neill is one of the most iconic, influential and collected photographers of the past 60 years, worldwide. For over six decades, he captured the frontline of fame. Members of the British royal family and prominent politicians also posed in front of his camera. With his informal, spontaneous and intimate photos he showed a more natural and human side of celebrities. The legendary photographer maintained a personal relationship with many of them.
The list of international celebrities is impressive. O’Neill photographed The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Elton John in their early years. He portrayed stars such as Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor, Ursula Andress, Raquel Welch, Liza Minnelli, Roger Moore and Sean Connery. Portraits of Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot and Faye Dunaway, to whom he was married for several years, are among his best-known photographs. Supermodels such as Jean Shrimpton, Christy Turlington and Kate Moss are also included.
Terry O’Neill started out as a photographer in 1958 in his hometown of London and was a true pioneer of celebrity photography. After working for the Daily Sketch tabloid, he was soon being commissioned by the largest newspapers and magazines in the world such as Newsweek, TIME, Vanity Fair and Vogue. O’Neill’s extensive and iconic oeuvre is bundled in numerous photo books. The National Portrait Gallery in London has 80 portraits in its collection. In 2019 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to photography.
The exhibition is composed around the themes of film, music and fashion. The characteristic period rooms and cabinets of the monumental museum form a stylish decor. There will be a Diva salon, Glamour room, James Bond room and a space dedicated to the extravagant interiors of stars. Supporting videos are also shown.
Fotomuseum aan het Vrijthof is realizing this exhibition in close collaboration with guest curator Feiko Koster of Koster Fine Art Gallery, located in concept store ‘Het Arsenaal’ in Naarden-Vesting, the Netherlands.
Terry O’Neill : Famous
4 February – 10 September 2023
Fotomuseum aan het Vrijthof
6211 LD Maastricht, Netherlands