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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-  1 May 2006

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The power of 10

THE MLA Partnership creates one voice for museums, libraries and archives.  MLA North West has joined forces with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the eight other independent regional agencies to create ‘The MLA Partnership’. The new national board will include the Chairs of all the regional agencies and MLA North West has now become part of this new national partnership to collectively lead the transformation of England’s museums, libraries and archives and promote their unique contribution for the future. The MLA Partnership will benefit the public and everyone who works in the museums, libraries and archives sector through a clear set of shared objectives.

The 10 partners will now have one voice, creating a stronger impact in promoting the role of museums, libraries and archives in people’s lives. To help achieve this, one corporate plan will be directing the work of all ten organisations. Greater co-ordination and consultation will result in better use of resources and investment and clear, shared objectives will make it easier to agree priorities and measure results, providing better evidence of the sector’s achievements.

Steve Garland, acting Chair of MLA North West joined MLA Chair, Mark Wood to sign the partnership agreement with the Chairs of each of the 8 other regional agencies. Mark Wood said:- “The creation of The MLA Partnership will improve people’s lives by providing greater access to collections and resources and help build knowledge, support learning and inspire creativity. It will create a strong, unified voice for the sector in promoting the role of museums, libraries and archives to the public and it will increase collaboration and deliver more consistent improvements in collections, services and standards.

Norman Parkinson:- Portraits in Fashion

OVER this summer the Lady Lever Art Gallery hosts Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion a National Portrait Gallery photographic exhibition from the 10 June to 24 September 2006.

Many of the greatest icons of the 20th century, as well as some of the world's most beautiful women, are revealed through Parkinson's inimitable wit and style. The Lady Lever Art Gallery display brings together over 20 stunning photographs that pay tribute to Parkinson's skill as a fashion and portrait photographer. Subjects featured include Audrey Hepburn and famous fashion models such as Jerry Hall, Barbara Goalen and Parkinson’s muse and wife Wenda Rogerson.

In a career that spanned 7 decades, Norman Parkinson (1913-90) dazzled the world with his sparkling inventiveness as a fashion photographer. His long association with Vogue, and his numerous assignments for Queen in the 1960s and Town & County in the 1970s and 1980s, brought him worldwide recognition. His innovative style differed from the static, prosaic approach to fashion photography of the time, offering instead an enchanting, idiosyncratic persona that charmed his sitters and projected an alluring and glamorous public image.

Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall, Parkinson was unable to remain unobtrusive behind the lens and instead created 'Parks', the moustachioed, ostentatiously elegant fashion photographer - as much a personality as those who sat for him. His flawless professionalism, and well-rehearsed eccentricities reassured the uneasy sitter and disarmed the experienced. 'Parks' reinvented himself for each decade of his career, from his ground-breaking spontaneous images of the 1930s, through the war years and the 'Swinging 60s' to the exotic locations of the 1970s and 1980s.

Norman Parkinson: Portraits in Fashion shows how Parkinson’s legacy continues to inform contemporary fashion photography. The exhibition will appeal to those with an interest in bold and imaginative photographs or simply charmed by images of high fashion and glamour.

A programme of free learning events accompanies the exhibition.

Exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery

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