Wales

Iconic south Wales mining image on show

  • 12 August 2010
  • From the section Wales
Eugene Smith's Three Generations of Miners photograph, a print acquired by National Museum Wales
Image caption Three Generations of Welsh Miners (1950) by William Eugene Smith

An iconic image of three south Wales miners has gone on display in Cardiff, after National Museum Wales acquired a rare copy of the print.

The image was taken by American photojournalist William Eugene Smith in the 1950s while in south Wales for the distinguished Magnum agency.

The museum paid £5,700 for the image after tracking a print down in New York.

It will now be on display at National Museum Cardiff until October.

One of the miners in the photograph, Vernon Harding, who was then 22 years old and is now 82, has viewed the photograph at the museum.

Cultural historian Professor Dai Smith describes the picture of three generations of miners in a forthcoming book as "one of the most significant images of 20th Century Wales".

"The three miners represent a sense of the past, present and possible future, and this extraordinary picture pulls them all together."

Charlotte Topsfield, the art curator for the museum said the print, which is an artist's proof, was "an extremely important addition to Wales".

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