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"Defence through the lens" - 100 years of military photography celebrated at Shrewsbury Museum

  • Defence through the lens at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

A century of military photographic images goes on show at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from Monday 19th October 2015 in a new exhibition by the Defence School of Photography. Defence Through the Lens will run until 10th January 2016.

As well as marking the centenary of photography by members of the Armed Forces, the exhibition also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the School's move to RAF Cosford in Shropshire in 1965.

The exhibition will showcase the very best work of photographers from the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force with striking images from conflicts beginning with World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan, to peacetime training at the School and nearby locations.

A timeline display will highlight the many achievements of the School and its students over the last century, including winning two Academy Awards for films in World War II.

As well as an impressive selection of images, the exhibition will include a photographic pod which would have been carried underneath an aircraft during a reconnaissance mission, and an original RAF helmet and Mae West vest discovered hidden in a house in Denmark after a bomber crew escaped from a crash.

A special Shropshire connection is a selection of light-meters from the company formed by prolific Oswestry-born inventor Edward Weston, who emigrated to the USA and eventually held 334 patents for his many creations.

Jon Jarvis, Head of the Defence School of Photography, said:

"We have created a centenary exhibition at the School, which has been much enjoyed by those who have seen it. Now we can take a selection of photos and artefacts on tour for a wider audience to enjoy at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. The balcony there gives us an ideal opportunity to display some of our students' work and to celebrate a hundred years of photography by the Armed Forces."

Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council's deputy Cabinet member for museums said:

"This a wonderful opportunity for Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery to host a top quality exhibition of images by the three services looking back over 100 years. I am very grateful to the staff at the Defence School of Photography for their generosity and hard work. I am sure the exhibition will be very popular."

The exhibition opens at 10am on Monday 19th October 2015 and closes at 4.30pm on 10th January. It is open daily at first, and will be on closed Mondays from 2nd November 2015.

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