South Shields photographer sees images go on display

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The man who helped to bring the work of some of the world’s best artists to South Tyneside has been left “overwhelmed” by an exhibition dedicated to him.

Vince Rae ran the Bede Gallery in Jarrow for 28 years before it closed its doors for the final time in 1996.

Over the years, the gallery showed a range of exhibitions and artworks from artists including Picasso, Hundertwasser, Henri Matisse, Sir Sidney Nolan, Hockney, Degas and Don McKinley.

He also carried out research into projects based on Jarrow’s history culminating in the publication of ‘Jarrow 1860-1960 From Old Photographs’ taken by the man himself.

Some of his images have now been put on display at South Shields Museum in Ocean Road.

After hearing of the exhibition, staff from Palmersdene Care Home - where the 80-year-old, who is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s, is now a resident - arranged for him to visit the museum to see his work on display.

He really couldn’t believe anyone would think his work was good enough to go in such a good museum.

Emma Finlay

He was also asked to sign copies of his book by staff at the museum.

His care assistant, Emma Finlay, said: “He was very emotional as he was shown the exhibition.

“He was telling us who was on the images and his thoughts when he was taking the pictures.

“He was over the moon, it got him talking about his old friends. He was very impressed with how it was all put together.

“It was all the photographs he’d taken when he worked in the gallery in Jarrow.

“He really couldn’t believe anyone would think his work was good enough to go in such a good museum.

“He has asked if he can go back, so we are organising another visit for him.”

Vince said: “I thought the exhibition was very well presented. I have never seen anything so well presented - they really did a good job.”

Jarrow 1978: A town through the lens showcases a collection of Vince’s work which captured Jarrow and its people during a year-long project in 1978.