Sheringham Museum  



Our Summer Exhibition -
'Olive Edis - A Life in Focus'

This exhibition is about a remarkable woman who lived and worked in Sheringham for fifty years. Sheringham Museum is also hosting a Norfolk Museum Service exhibition, 'The Road to Ypres' which documents Olive’s pioneering commission to photograph the work of British women’s services in France and Belgium in the aftermath of the first World War


Miss Mary Olive Edis, later to become Mrs. Edwin Galsworthy, was born into a well-connected, professional family, at the height of the British Empire when Great Britain was leading the Industrial Revolution. Olive died in 1955, still a wealthy woman but now through her own professional and entrepreneurial efforts, having lived and worked through the Great Depression and two World Wars.

She is known for her fine photographic portraits of the ‘Great and Good’ – and her timeless record of ‘Fisher Folk’ in the early years of the 20th Century is of particularly interest to Sheringham. Olive was equally relaxed with royalty, the wealthy and influential and with ordinary town and country people. She led an interesting and active life, during which she gained a considerable reputation as a talented portrait photographer, winning prestigious awards, to proudly become an Honorary Fellow of the Photographic Society in 1914.



In recent years there have been several excellent exhibitions of her portraits - particularly the 'Fishermen and Kings' exhibition at Norwich's Castle Museum. But Olive spent most of her life in Sheringham, so the town knew the person as well as her work. While this exhibition obviously includes a large number of her photographs (some seen very rarely), it also takes a close look at the person - her family ties, her adventurous nature, her wide range of interests outside photography, her creativity, her business sense and more. She was quite a woman, and in this centenary year celebrating women's suffrage we are proud to present this closer view of a very notable woman.

We have divided the space into areas of different colours, each representing a major facet of her character. The photographs you see here may explain the concept further, but a visit to the museum is the best way to investigate the wonderful Olive Edis!

The exhibition - free after museum entry - is open during normal museum hours until September 23. Several special events will be run in conjunction with the exhibition; please check our Events page for details.