This project presents a remarkable collection of images from the archive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).  For generations, the Beken family in Cowes has photographed maritime activity in the area, creating a significant visual record of Isle of Wight industry and RNLI lifeboats.

'Calm before the Storm: The Art of Photographing Lifeboats' celebrates the digitisation of over 800 Beken glass negatives.  It explores the journeys made by individual lifeboats and their volunteer crews, from starting service to saving lives at sea.

Also on display at Poole Museum will be photographs made by Jack Lowe as part of The Lifeboat Station project, an ambitious journey to all 238 RNLI stations in the UK and Ireland photographing the lifeboat crews of today.  Jack's use of a Victorian process to produce image on glass complements the historical photographs of the Beken collection, prompting reflection on generations of lifesaving.

The project is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund with the support of a major RNLI donor.

26th January - 22nd April 2019
Poole Museum, 4 High Street, Poole

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