NORFOLK Museums Service
Cromer Museum

Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis

This is an image

Step inside our fisherman’s cottage and discover the fascinating story of pioneering 20th century photographer Olive Edis.

Two brand new permanent galleries dedicated to Olive Edis opened in March 2017 and explore the life and work of this incredible Norfolk woman.

The Olive Edis galleries at Cromer are the culmination of the Olive Edis Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to raise awareness of this remarkable woman. They follow on from the ground-breaking showing of her work in the exhibition Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis which ran at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery from 8 October 2016 to 22 January 2017, attracting over 50,000 visitors.

Olive Edis was one of the most important photographers of the early 20th century. At the height of her career she photographed the full spectrum of British society, from local fishermen and their families to prime ministers, royalty, scientists and artists. She was an exceptional portrait artist, a pioneer of new technologies, a successful business owner, and the first British woman to be appointed as an official war photographer.

Now, for the first time, Fishermen & Kings provides a permanent tribute to this fine artist, and a rich resource for the public who want to explore her work in more depth. These galleries give an overview of Edis’ life, work and photographic techniques. See original prints alongside enlarged reproductions, digital slideshows and lightboxes, and listen to an actress reading extracts from Edis’ war journal.

This is an image

Cromer Museum is a fitting location for the world’s first centre dedicated to Edis’ work, given her long association with this part of Norfolk. Edis died in 1955, leaving the contents of her studio to her assistant Cyril Nunn who cared for the collection until it was acquired by Cromer Museum in 2008. It is now the largest collection of her work in the world. In the 60 years since her death Edis has been largely forgotten by history, and her huge contribution to British photography sadly overlooked. Thanks to the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Olive Edis Project at Cromer Museum can now redress this, working to raise awareness of Edis’ work and give her inspirational story the recognition it deserves.



This is an image

Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis by Alistair Murphy and Elizabeth Elmore, the first book dedicated solely to Olive Edis’ life and work, is available from the gift shop at Cromer Museum for £9.99, along with a selection of Olive Edis merchandise. You can order a copy by post by contacting Maria Wong, Retail Manager, at or by phoning Norwich Castle on 01603 495897. A member of our Visitor Services team will be able to connect you to the shop.

To read more about Olive Edis, keep up to date with the project, and explore more of Edis’ work, visit our blog.

A touring exhibition of Olive Edis’ war photographs will travel around Norfolk and beyond throughout 2017-19. Find out more here.

The Olive Edis Project at Cromer Museum has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to share her work and story with a wider audience.

Buy tickets online

Leaflets & files to print

Download PDFs Fishermen & Kings: The Photography of Olive Edis

Congratulations! we have come from France and discovered Cromer with your museum.

A friend and I dressed up and posed as Victorians in the bedroom. We scared her Mum.