Love stories from the early 20th Century to the late 1960s will be celebrated at the Fitzrovia Chapel this Valentine’s Day, as part of an ambitious international project to reunite them with their families and descendants.
The February exhibition (15 to 17 February, 11:00 to 16:00) called Love Lost and Found features exquisite original wedding photographs from the popular Vintage Wedding Photos project. Visitors will be be encouraged to play detective, leaving thoughts about the origins of the photographs. A media campaign aimed at reuniting the images in the show with their families will be run in parallel with the exhibition.
Project founder, London-based social and historical researcher Charlotte Sibtain, has already successfully matched photos with their ‘rightful’ owners. In 2018, she was given a wedding album for Christmas which was on sale on Ebay. When she referenced the album on Twitter, a Newmarket curate contacted Charlotte to provide information which led her to locate the daughter of John and Irene, the couple in the 1957 photos. The family previously only had one surviving photo from the wedding.
The Vintage Wedding Photos collection contains more than 400 matrimonial images and albums. They have been painstakingly catalogued, digitised and researched.
Charlotte Sibtain, founder, Vintage Weddings Photos project, says, ‘My hope is that people will be encouraged to celebrate their own family’s wedding photos. ‘
Faye Hughes, Artistic Director, the Fitzrovia Chapel, says, ‘Marriages have played an important part in the heritage of our breathtaking Grade II* listed secular chapel. In 2019, as Westminster’s most booked venue, we feel a closeness to the special day in the lives of our couples, their families and friends. We were moved by Charlotte Sibtain’s quest to reunite the beautiful photographs from her archive with the families who have misplaced them. Love, Lost and Found celebrates not just marriage but the importance of our memories, our lineage and the part photography plays in our lives.’