Retail Retold: The Face of the High Street

Type:Photography Event

Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2DH

Tel: 01273 483448

Lewes High Street in the 1930s


Lewes town centre seen through the photographs of the Edward Reeves Archive: an expanded exhibition explores the changing face of Lewes High Street as well as the resilience of shopkeepers and the community in the face of extreme challenges.

‘Lewes High Street: Retail Retold’ is an exhibition of 80 photographs taken in Lewes between 1860 and 1960. They will be displayed as lightboxes in shop windows at various relevant locations along Lewes High Street. This collection of historic images comes from the Edward Reeves Archive, the world’s oldest surviving photographic studio.

This lightbox exhibition focuses on the importance of the High Street to the social and economic wellbeing of the community, a message emphasised by the last six months of lockdown. In 2020, we are having to adapt to a changing environment. As more people work from home and shop locally and there is less money to spend, it is vital that the High Street evolves to attract new shoppers so it can remain the bustling hub of the town.

The 2020 Lightbox images are enhanced with an online exhibition which shows them alongside a series of new portraits by Tom Reeves, the great grandson of Edward Reeves who founded the business in 1855.

Tom photographed the lightbox hosts: the businesspeople and residents of the High Street. Their portraits are accompanied by answers to questions which give brief insights into their experiences during and after lockdown. The online exhibition enhances the experience of viewing the lightboxes in situ and is available to those unable to visit in person. It can be reached via the link below.

Images courtesy of Reeves Archive

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Opening Times

Season (9 Oct 2020 - 8 Nov 2020)

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