Proud Galleries is pleased to present ‘Audrey Hepburn: Beyond the Screen’, a photographic exhibition displaying rare portraits of Audrey Hepburn captured by a selection of high profile twentieth century photographers. This collection brings together the work of Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson, Bob Willoughby, Eva Sereny, Mark Shaw and Douglas Kirkland; each celebrated for their distinct portrayals of Hepburn. Renowned for her progressive acting roles, stylish sensibilities and humanitarian endeavors, Hepburn remains one of the most instantly recognisable icons of the 1950s and has charmed generations since the Golden Age of Hollywood. ‘Audrey Hepburn: Beyond the Screen’ revisits classic and timeless portraits celebrating Hepburn’s legacy on the 25th anniversary of her death.
Audrey Hepburn’s acting career and influential fashions are widely documented, but lesser-known are the struggles of her early life. Born in 1929 to a Dutch baroness, Hepburn studied ballet throughout her formative years and had ambitions of becoming a professional dancer. Following Germany’s invasion of the Netherlands during World War II, Hepburn’s family suffered tragically during the occupation of her town. Hepburn relocated to London after the war ended where she was scouted during a performance of Cecil Landeau's ‘Sauce Piquante’, 1950. Her first leading film role followed three years later in ‘Roman Holiday’, for which she was commended with an Academy award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
Throughout her lifetime, Audrey Hepburn achieved over 25 film accreditations and received awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of her charitable work with UNICEF. Hepburn’s son Sean Ferrer stated, “She never forgot the chocolates and the outstretched hands - the little acts of kindness to children like herself… She wanted to give something back to the world”. Hepburn’s philanthropic efforts and humanitarian work are representative of the generosity she displayed throughout her life; her legacy is continued by sons Sean Ferrer and Luca Dotti, who co-founded the Audrey Hepburn Children’s Fund in their mother’s memory. The charity develops a number of fundraising initiatives and seeks to promote awareness for vulnerable children worldwide.
Through a unique perspective and style, each photographer included within this collection captures Audrey Hepburn’s instantly recognisable appearance. Bob Willoughby’s portraits of a young Hepburn, fresh-faced just after the release of her first film ‘Roman Holiday’ are presented alongside Terry O’Neill’s youthful colour portraits which glow with a childish excitement and exude her playful sense of humor. Her memorable style is articulated through the classic fashion shoots of Norman Parkinson and Douglas Kirkland, as is her characteristic sophistication by Eva Sereny during the filming of ‘Always’. ‘Audrey Hepburn: Beyond the Screen’ exhibits portraits of Audrey Hepburn throughout her life and career, recognising her position in the history of popular culture as well as her contribution to society a quarter of a century after her death.