Frame Us (Little Brother) - (Current Exhibition)

Drawings of spectacles by the famous become 'frame us'

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Simon Murray, a.k.a "Mr Specs" has been collecting spectacles for over forty years in his role as a costumier and supplier of props to the film industry. His collection, which originated with L & H Nathan in 1790, covers 230 years of eyewear styles, including genuine antique and vintage frames and historically accurate reproductions. For the past twenty years he has also encouraged the celebrities he has met in the course of his professional work to draw their own spectacles - the more imaginative the better - on any piece of paper they have lying to hand.

In June 2020 an exhibition of some of these drawings was due to take place at a gallery in Marylebone, London. To be called Frame Us, the exhibition was also to feature actual frames of the rich and famous as well as spec-tacular stars of the silver screen. After the exhibition the celebrity drawings were to be sold for charity.

In preparation for this event the British Optical Association Museum at the College of Optometrists mounted a small parallel exhibition - Frame Us (Little Brother). This marked the fact that the celebrity drawings have all been scanned and the museum will retain the electronic archive of them for posterity. 

The exhibition was due to open on Wednesday 1 April (April Fools day). As Simon says, he always does things to mark his Mum's birthday and "You'd be a fool not to come". Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus (COVid-19) the museum is currently closed to visitors until further notice, but the exhibition had been installed by late March and will be awaiting viewers as soon as we re-open. It consists of reproductions of the celebrity drawings, spread across the bookshelves in the College Library.

Meanwhile the larger exhibition at an external venue is provisionally re-scheduled for September 2021 which will mark Simon's 50th anniversary of working in the film industry. The original drawings will be auctioned after one year in aid of Fight for Sight and two other charities. We will post further details when we have them.

Meanwhile, can you guess who drew this? (Clues below)

Drawing of spectacles by a celebrity

 

  1. These glasses were designed by a female celebrity, now deceased
  2. She was an actress who appeared in Carry On films, had a UK number one hit in 1962 and became famous for playing a leggy shop assistant in a popular BBC sit-com
  3. She had a role from the very start of a long-running soap opera and stayed in the series for nearly 22 years
  4. The rims of the spectacles are supposed to represent the doors of washing machines

 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the museum is currently closed until further notice. We hope the run of this exhibition may be extended to allow more visitors to see it.

 

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