London Spotlight: Audrey Hepburn Portraits of an Icon

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery 

Last week I was invited to preview the new Audrey Hepburn Portraits of an Icon Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London’s Trafalgar Square.




This has been a sold out exhibition so far and after noticing the queues outside the NPG each morning, I couldn’t turn down an offer to see it for myself, or the opportunity to chat to the two wonderful curators – Terence Pepper and Helen Trompeteler, to annoy them with a million nosey questions 😉

I’m always so curious to hear about people’s unusual jobs, so chatting to professional art curators was almost as enticing to me as seeing the exhibition itself. That, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my all-time favourite films so I was really curious to find out more about this timeless film and fashion icon.




This particular photographic exhibition focuses on the life of the beautiful Audrey Hepburn. It’s arranged chronologically covering her whole life in 3 sections – coming to fame in London, the 1950’s period which we’re all most familiar with, and her life in the 70’s including her late films, finished with an overview of her life including major film roles and life moments.

What’s great about seeing this exhibition of around eighty intimate and rarely seen images come to the National Portrait Gallery is that this is where her roots lie. It was in this part of London that she attended her dancing studio as a child and where she spent her days as a chorus girl performing at the Hippodrome and around London’s West End.


When I asked what inspired co-curator Terence to create an exhibition based solely on Audrey Hepburn, he explained how in 1981 he once came across two brilliant photos of Audrey and was only able to show one in his exhibition, and he’s been wanting to show the second one ever since.

I was chatting to Terence and Helen about the countless hours they spent working their way through thousands of vintage magazine covers, film stills and archival photography in Audrey’s family home’s attic, where Audrey’s son gave them access to the family’s own private archives. It took them just over two years to put this exhibition together and one of the hardest parts was cutting it down to just 80 key pieces which could best describe her captivating story.



Audrey Hepburn Portraits of an Icon exhibition is showing at the National Portrait Gallery until October 18th, 2015.

Note from NPG: Online tickets are sold out for July 2015 but a limited number will be available at the Gallery from 10.00 everyday. Please note, there is good availability online during August, September and October 2015 and advance booking is highly recommended.


On another note, I’m starting a new content series on the blog called ‘London Spotlight’ which will focus on different things around London each week – from my favourite restaurants and cafes, to great exhibitions or galleries, street markets, shops or anything else in between that I think is worth sharing for you to check out for yourselves. This is my first entry and if you have any particular requests for future London Spotlight entries then let me know in the comments 🙂

Kamila x

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