Morley, Lewis Frederick 1925 - 2013
Lewis Frederick Morley was born in Hong Kong on 13th June 1925. He was one of the three children of a Chinese mother, Lucie Chan, and an English father, also named Lewis, who was chief pharmacist to the colony. During the second world war he was held with his family in Stanley internment camp by the occupying Japanese army. Watercolours he produced in the camp later won him a place at Twickenham College of Art (1949-52), in south-west London, where he studied after serving with the RAF once the family had moved back to Britain.
In 1952 he moved to Paris where he studied painting at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.
In 1954 Morley married Patricia "Pat" Clifford.
A portfolio of Morley's early photographs were published by the picture editor Norman Hall in Photography magazine in 1957 as the latest "Young Britain" discovery. Introductions by friends led to Morley working on assignments for Tatler magazine from 1958 onwards, photographing subjects such as the newly married Peter Hall and Leslie Caron in 1961.
A 1960 Tatler commission, The Day of the Swot at Cambridge, included a photograph of William Donaldson which was to lead to Morley photographing the satire boom of the 1960s and the early days of Private Eye magazine, particularly when he moved his studio to an upper floor in the building in which Peter Cook ran the Establishment club in Soho, London.
Morley's friendship with Cook made him a regular photographic contributor to Private Eye in its early days. He produced spoof portraits. Morley also dabbled in real fashion stories, working with models including Marie-Lise Gres and Jenny Boyd for magazines such as She and Harper's Bazaar and, most notably, taking the first published photographs as a fashion model of Jean Shrimpton for Go! Magazine in 1961. Another first were his photographs of Twiggy in an old fur coat, published in London Life magazine in 1965, before she officially became "the face of 1966".
Morley was introduced to theatre photography at the Royal Court by Lindsay Anderson who commissioned him to photograph Serjeant Musgrave's Dance in 1959, the first of more than 100 stage plays he photographed for impresarios such as Oscar Lewenstein and Michael Codron. Highlights include his portrait of Albert Finney as Billy Liar. Morley also photographed the stage actors Tom Courtenay, Peter O'Toole, Alan Badel and John Hurt. His work on films included a shot of Judi Dench in Four in the Morning (1965) and Clint Eastwood on the set of Where Eagles Dare (1968).
In 1971, persuaded by friends who had already left Britain, Morley and his family emigrated to Australia where he began a new career specialising in interiors photography as well as some portraiture. He retired in 1987.
In 1999, Lewis Morley appeared in the Contemporary Australian Photographers series. It was followed in 2003 with the release of a film about his life and an exhibition Myself and Eye at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. In 2006, an extensive exhibition showcasing 50 years of Lewis Morley work was displayed at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. This included 150 of his works covering fashion, theatre and reportage, many of which had never been seen before.