Bailey’s Stardust at the National Portrait Gallery

Mick Jagger by David Bailey, 1964 © David Bailey
Mick Jagger by David Bailey, 1964 © David Bailey

A giant blow-up of a young Michael Caine, with his trademark black-rimmed glasses perched on his head, greets the visitor on arrival at the gallery, and sets the theme for the greater part of the exhibition, for David Bailey is most famous for his pictures of the glamorous and famous. In our celebrity-obsessed age, do we really need a large-scale exhibition of portraits of – well – celebrities? Clearly, Bailey and the National Portrait Gallery think so, and, judging by the crowds seething enthusiastically through the rooms, this is set to be London’s most popular museum show of 2014.

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