Derek Balmer Photographic Archive


Derek Balmer PPRWA (born 1934) is a British artist and photographer, based in Bristol since the 1950s. His first public exhibition was at the RWA in 1956 and he was part of the vibrant Bristol art scene of the Sixties. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions in the U.K. and Europe. In 1965 he won the Prix d'Natalie in Provence and following other successes was the 1983 finalist at the Avon Open Exhibition at Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol. Derek Balmer was given a solo exhibition in the Sharples Gallery at the RWA in 1980.

In 2001 Balmer became the RWA’s eighteenth president, and remained so until 2010. He exhibits extensively across the UK and Europe. 

Besides a successful practice in Fine Art he also developed a career as an art critic and photographer. He was in-house photographer at the Bristol Old Vic from 1963 - 1985, and it is this work which forms this collection. 

What the collection holds

Negatives of black and white photographic prints from Bristol Old Vic productions c.1963-1985. Taken by Derek Balmer, the Bristol Old Vic's in-house photographer.

The online catalogue for this collection can be viewed here:
DBN - Derek Balmer Photographic Archive

Further information

Derek Balmer's work as an artist can be seen on the RWA website here and Catto Gallery site here.

Derek Balmer BOV photo - Class Enemy, 1980
Derek Balmer photo of Bristol Old Vic's 1980 production of "Class Enemy" by Nigel Williams, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as "Iron". Image credit: University of Bristol Theatre Collection
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