Captivating images taken in the 1960s by an influential photographer are to feature in an exhibition marking Dunfermline’s newly acquired city status.
Some 47 black and white pictures taken by Joseph McKenzie – dubbed ‘the Father of Modern Scottish Photography’ – will go on show at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries on 19th November.
The exhibition, Dunfermline and Its People, was originally shown in nearby Pittencrieff House Museum in 1968. All of the images were taken during 1967 and 1968, which was an eventful time for the former Royal Burgh.
In 1968, Dunfermline Athletic returned from Hampden Park with the Scottish Cup and a young upcoming folk singer, Barbara Dickson, took the plunge to become a professional musician.
And the last passenger train departed Dunfermline Upper station – an indication that car ownership across Scotland was on the rise.
The 100-year-old Castleblair Works, built to weave linen before becoming a silk mill, was demolished in 1967 – a sign of the town’s move away from textiles production.
To the south of Dunfermline, an estimated 1000 families were settling into the recently completed Pitcorthie housing estate. It was a key part of the town’s expansion following the opening of the Forth Road Bridge in October 1964.
Dunfermline is one of eight places to have won prestigious city status through a competition, as part of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. King Charles has conferred city status on the town – an ancient capital of Scotland –after carrying out his first official visit as monarch last Monday.
Joseph McKenzie, who died in 2015 aged 86, became a prolific photographer through the 1960s, documenting Scotland at a time of momentous change.
After serving as a photographer in the RAF, he taught photography full-time at St Martins School of Art in London and then at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society in 1954.
Mr McKenzie’s work is held in public and private collections including those of the Scottish Arts Council, the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland, McManus Gallery in Dundee and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
His Glasgow Gorbals Children exhibition was shown in Edinburgh, Dundee and Dunfermline in 1965, and in 1966 he followed this up with Dundee – a City in Transition to commemorate the opening of the Tay Road Bridge.
Alice Pearson, a curator with the cultural charity OnFife, which runs the exhibition venue, says: “Joseph McKenzie really brings the city to life in his photographs – its history, its location, its hustle and bustle, as well as the friendliness of its people.”.
“He gave us a remarkable portrait of a place in the midst of momentous change and provides glimpses of a world that has all but vanished. It is fitting that his legacy can be enjoyed by people once again as Dunfermline begins a new chapter in its illustrious story.”