The Ages of Wembley

"The Ages of Wembley" is now closed. We look forward to bringing you another exhibition soon.

28th June – 28th September 2019

‘The Ages of Wembley’ is the first of a year-long programme exclusively presented by the curatorial team at Getty Images Gallery. Featuring a stunning selection of never-before-seen photographs sourced from Getty Images’ archival and contemporary libraries, the exhibition charts the emergence of Wembley Park as a world-famous leisure and entertainment destination from the 1920s onwards.

Wembley Park was developed in the 1890s as a large and popular recreational space including sports- grounds, teahouses, lake and variety theatre. Images include photographs of the construction of the famous Wembley Stadium’s iconic twin towers, completed just in time to hold the 1923 FA Cup Final, which attracted the largest football crowd ever recorded at the time. There are several images featuring the ‘Empire Exhibition’ from 1925, attended by Queen Mary and King George V, and described by the British press in the day as the largest and most important exhibition since 1851. Photographs depict the complex building work of the ‘Empire Exhibition’ Pavilions as captured by A H Robinson (1864-1950). Robinson was a gifted amateur photographer who mastered the unusual art of panoramic photography with flair and artistry using his clockwork Kodak Panorama camera. Recognised as pioneering in the field, prints of his work are valued highly by collectors. Moving into the 1930s, the images depict the passion of fans supporting their teams as they celebrate the excitement of making it to the home of British football; from the West Bromwich Albion FC fan waving his rattle and cheering as he makes his way to Wembley Stadium to the crowds of football fans pouring into the Stadium grounds for the Cup Final. The exhibition also displays images of the changing face of Wembley Park in the 1940s with the first launch of Olympic Way, leading from Wembley Park Station to Wembley Stadium that was built in preparation for the 1948 Summer Olympics in London. It provides an interesting historical context on the area, which has been transformed in recent years into an exciting cultural neighbourhood, with 5,750 new homes being created in addition to the 1,750 already built.