British photographic history

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National Museum of Wales purchases iconic photograph

One of the most significant images of 20th-century Wales, 'Three Generations of Welsh Miners' (1950), by American photojournalist, Eugene Smith, has been bought by the Wales National Museum.

This legendary photograph (representing past, present and possible future), for which the museum paid around £5,700 for the print and an artist’s proof, from the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York, will be on display at the Cardiff museum until October. The photo was hailed as portraying the realities of post-war Wales to the rest of the world, and has become an iconic image of the 20th century.

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. Professor Dai Smith, the Raymond Williams Chair in cultural history at Swansea University, talks about the image in his forthcoming book In the Frame: Wales 1910-2010.

Further details, including a video interview with Mr Harding, can be found here.

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