George Bernard Shaw exposed in Wiltshire exhibition

George Bernard Shaw's photographs have been in storage since 1979

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Photographs by George Bernard Shaw, including two nude self-portraits of the playwright, are to go on display for the first time in Wiltshire.

Over 60 images giving "an interesting glimpse" into the private life of the Pygmalion writer will be exhibited at the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock.

The National Trust-owned collection of 20,000 images of family, friends and Shaw himself, including several nude self-portraits, have rarely been seen.

The Lacock exhibition opens on 7 July.

"The self-portraits showing Shaw in the nude are images where he seems to be experimenting with light and shadow as much as the poses," said Roger Watson, the curator of the Lacock exhibition.

"Nudity they may be but he has rescued them from going too far by the judicious placement of objects or the way in which he turns his body."

Shaw's collection of 20,000 images was left to the National Trust along with his home, Shaw's Corner in Hertfordshire, on his death.

For the last 30 years the prints, negatives and albums have been held in the archives at the London School of Economics.

Following funding, 60 of Shaw's rarely-seen original photographs taken between 1898 and 1914 are being showcased at Lacock.

"He bought his first camera in 1898 and began, like most of us, by taking photographs of his family and friends," said Mr Watson.

"But they aren't the run-of-the-mill snapshots and they're not stiff or formal.

"Shaw seemed to have a very relaxed attitude to people and I was taken with the gentleness of his approach to his family and friends."

The exhibition, George Bernard Shaw: Man and Cameraman, will be on show at the Fox Talbot Museum in Lacock until 11 December.

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