It was fascinating just sitting watching visitors to the Martin Jenkinson photo exhibition — for more see http://unitelive.org/photographs-martin-jenkinson/ at the Weston Park Museum in Sheffield on Sunday 7 April. According to the museum staff it was a “quiet day” and yet I saw dozens of people, of all ages and backgrounds, enter and spend time taking a look at the images. Amongst the visitors were family groups, some of which included three generations. Some visitors knew Martin before his premature death back in 2012.
I witnessed as older generations explained the images to the younger ones. There was a high degree of interaction within all groups as they pointed at photographs, smiled and, occasionally, laughed out with real glee and pleasure.
Sitting at the exit I enquired if they’d enjoyed the visit. The reaction was unanimously positive and when I introduced people to Martin’s daughter, Justine, they poured praise on her dad and thanked her for keeping his legacy alive. It was heartwarming. Some told tales about the photographs and what they meant to them. “It brings back lots of memories” was a common refrain.
According to staff the numbers who have taken the time to visit the exhibition has exceeded their wildest expectations and it is believed that the last time an exhibition brought so many through the doors was for one many years ago featuring Leonardo Da Vinci.
The event finishes this coming week and for those who have been unable to attend then they have missed a real treat.
I am now looking forward to completing the book I am compiling with Justine on Images of Sheffield in the 80s that is based around many of the photographs from the exhibition. It is out in November and it is clear that many people are keen to get copies.