View Original Notice ? New Princess Diana photo exhibition makes its debut in Santa Monica
The remarkable life of the late Princess Diana is the focus of a new large format photo exhibit that will let viewers hear stories about her from her longtime royal photographers.
On Wednesday, Dec. 1, “Princess Diana: Accredited Access,” made its world debut at Santa Monica Place, a 9,000-square-foot exhibit space in downtown Santa Monica. It runs indefinitely.
The exhibition is made up of more than 100 five-by-eight-foot photographs shot throughout various periods of her life by royal photographer Anwar Hussein and his sons Samir and Zak, who together photographed the royals for about four decades.
Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.
“It’s hard to think and point at too many people who were able to use their privilege and their situation to really elevate the world around them and make it a better place and I think that Princess Diana represents that. People will walk out of this experience feeling great, feeling happy about humanity and that’s something we need at this time,” said Cliff Skelliter, creative director of the exhibition, which runs concurrently in Chicago, opening there Dec. 2, and New York in mid-January.
Divided into various themed sections that cover different points in her life, the photos are paired with narration by the photographers through an app as they tell visitors about the stories behind the images they are viewing.
Due to its mix of storytelling and images, Skelliter describes the exhibition as a “walk-through documentary.”
“It’s basically a very intimate firsthand account from her royal photographers,” he said.
Some of the themed rooms include a section dubbed “Growing” where people will see pictures of the young princess and her children.
There’s also a section named “Glam,” which Skelliter thinks will be one of the more popular areas of the exhibition since it shows her evolution into a fashion icon.
“This section is going to be a giant hit. They’re going to see how she learned to use her style to be able to communicate with the public,” he said.
There’s also a good selfie spot here since this section includes a 10-foot-high photo frame that people can stand in to snap pictures of themselves.
One particularly poignant portion of the exhibition will be a section called “Humanitarian,” where people will see photos of Princess Diana using her status to help people.
“These are iconic moments of Princess Diana using her platform to give back to the world,” he said, citing images like her shaking the hand of an AIDS patient to raise awareness for the illness.
Art displays are also part of the exhibition, including a room dubbed “Crowning Glory,” which is dedicated to hats worn by the princess and other royals and is filled with abstract paper sculptures of hats and tiaras.
“I think people’s jaws are definitely going to be on the ground here,” he said.
Princess Diana: Accredited Access
When: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Where: Santa Monica Place, 315 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica