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An ongoing series of exhibitions featuring archive images and research outcomes is raising the profile of the archive as an important historic resource.

For further information on any past or upcoming exhibitions, contact us.


9th October – 8th November 2020
Retail Retold: The Face of the High Street
Lewes High Street and surrounding streets 

An exhibition of 80 light boxes in 65 windows throughout Lewes.

This lightbox exhibition was first shown in September 2019 and focuses on the importance of the High Street to the social and economic wellbeing of our community. The lockdown has only emphasised that message. 

The 2020 Lightbox images also form part of an online exhibition and are accompanied by new portraits by Tom Reeves of the lightbox hosts: the businesspeople and residents of the High Street. The online exhibition enhances the experience of viewing the lightboxes in situ and is available to those unable to visit in person.

View the exhibition online

Retail Retold: The Face of the High Street
Retail Retold: The Face of the High Street


5th September – 29th September 2019
Lewes High Street: Retail Retold 
Lewes High Street and surrounding streets 

An exhibition of 80 pictures displayed as lightboxes along the length of Lewes High Street.

The images come from the archive of Edward Reeves Photography, the world’s oldest surviving photographic studio, and show pictures of the town and people of Lewes taken in the High Street from 1860 - 1960. The Lightbox Project started in 2014, and since then has mounted annual exhibitions placed in windows up and down the streets of Lewes.

Retail Retold focuses on the importance of the High Street, which is central to the social and economic life of our community. Special emphasis is given to the more sustainable way in which previous generations traded and shopped, and highlights ever changing lifestyles.  

Digital technology has allowed us to make scans of the original glass plates which have revealed details of which the photographer himself would have been unaware at the time the picture was taken. These details give an insight into another way of life.

Retail Retold Map 2019
Above: Lewes High Street: Retail Retold exhibition map

6th September - 15th September 2019
An Exhibition in the Edward Reeves Studio Gallery 
Edward Reeves Photography, 159 High Street, Lewes 
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, 11:00am - 4:00pm 

A chance to see the unique Victorian daylight studio and an exhibition of additional images from the Edward Reeves Archive.


17th December 2018 – 16th January 2019
From Suffrage to Citizenship 
Lewes Town Hall – Entrance Hall and Baxter Corridor, as well as all street facing windows 

An Edward Reeves Archive Project exhibition in partnership with Lewes Town Council marking a hundred years since the 1918 general election. The exhibition traces the people and places involved in the debate about women’s right to vote in Lewes and highlights dramatic events at Lewes prison. It tells the stories of the campaigners in Lewes: suffragists, suffragettes and anti-suffragists, and shows portraits by Benjamin Reeves of women who voted for the first time on 14 December 1918.

Also on display in the Town Hall will be banners showing the portraits of the 12 women who have been Mayor of Lewes, taken by Tom Reeves.

Above: Exhibition material in Lewes Town Hall

5th February – 11th February 2018
Lewes Remembers: Exhibition
Depot Lewes

In conjunction with screening of the film ‘Lewes Remembers’: Material from the Edward Reeves Archive and work by Tom Reeves documenting vigil Remembrance Sunday 2017 as well as copies of the 236 original applications filled in by Lewes families who applied to have their loved ones included on the War Memorial.


13th November – 24th November 2017
Lewes Remembers: Exhibition in conjunction Stories Seen Through Glass Plate 
Baxter Corridor, Lewes Town Hall, Lewes 

An exhibition of photographs from the Edward Reeves archive and original material relating to Lewes War Memorial. 

Above: Displaying the application forms for each name on the Lewes War Memorial

19th August – 24th September 2017
Stories Seen Through A Glass Plate - 1914-1918: Lewes Remembers 

Exhibition of 80 lightboxes in 65 windows throughout Lewes, this time enhanced with additional images and an online audio/visual tour at while following the lightbox trail you can now listen to period letters, stories and newspaper reports presented in fascinating audio clips. This exhibition draws on images in the Edward Reeves Archive that cover the WW1 period. These include individual and group portraits of soldiers and their families, as well as civilian life during the war and photographs of the thousands of men billeted in the town. 

The audio/visual tour for this exhibition can be found here.

Above: A lightbox on display in a shop window; the audio/visual online trail on mobile

19th August – 2nd September 2017
Untimely Images 
Edward Reeves Photography Studio & Gallery

An engaging collection of modern and historic images, photomontages and colourisations by Tom Reeves and Isaac Reeves. Additional images from the Edward Reeves Archive. An exhibition for the Artwave festival.

Untimely Images
Untimely Images
Above: "Untimely Images" exhibition poster; Mr Peacock c.1860 - colourisation by Isaac Reeves


29th October – 20th November 2016
1916: Lewes Remembers 

Lightbox exhibition in windows of shops and houses throughout Lewes depicting Lewes life in the First World War.

Images of life on the home front during the First World War, timed to coincide with the centenary of 'The Year That Sussex Died' - the year that the county experienced its heaviest losses.

1916: Lewes Remembers Map 2016
Above: 1916: Lewes Remembers exhibition map
Above: Lightboxes on display in windows around Lewes

29th October – 20th November 2016
The Story Behind the Poppy 
Baxter Corridor – Lewes Town Hall 

An exhibition in Lewes Town Hall showing sets of historic and contemporary portraits from Stories Behind the Poppy, the images of the 2015 national campaign of the Royal British Legion. The exhibited portraits were taken by Tom Reeves and by his grandfather Benjamin. Tom Reeves has photographed contemporary veterans, in the same studio, in the same pose, with the same camera his grandfather used in WW1. These recent portraits are shown alongside his grandfather's photographs.


2nd - 29th November 2015
The Story Behind the Poppy 
National Media Museum, Bradford 

Tom Reeves was commissioned by the Royal British Legion to make portraits of six modern Armed Force veterans and serving personnel. The photographs were taken in the same studio, and the same pose as pictures taken by his grandfather Benjamin Reeves 100 years ago during the first world war. Tom captured these poignant images using the exact same camera, technique, furniture and hand-painted background as the original process. It was the first time the camera had been used in 65 years. 

The Royal British Legion film of this event can be found on our short films page.

Above: The images on display in the National Media Museum, Bradford; An image from the campaign

29th October - 18th November 2015
Into the Light - 1914-1918 
Edward Reeves Studio 
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-4pm (except 5 November till 3pm) 

An exhibition in the Edward Reeves Studio Gallery of studio portraits and town views taken by Benjamin Reeves during WW1.

22nd August - 5th September 2015
A Visitable Past 
Edward Reeves Photography Studio & Gallery 

Peter Messer - Tempura paintings 
Messer is an established artist, resident of Lewes. Here he showed a small group of his paintings in egg tempera, inspired by the Edward Reeves Archive. 

Isaac Reeves - Photographs and pen on paper
Isaac is the fifth generation Reeves and an emerging young artist in his own right. Isaac drew the map of the trail printed here. This is his first exhibition, showing more maps of Lewes and a selection of his drawings.

A Visitable Past
A Visitable Past
Above: "A Visitable Past" exhibition flyer; Then & now photomontage by Isaac Reeves

8th May - 15th June 2015
Capturing Light 
Silverprint Gallery, London 

Capturing Light was originally exhibited in Lewes Barbican Castle Museum in conjunction with the first Stories Seen Through a Glass Plate exhibition, as part of the Brighton Photo Biennial 2014. Melanie King, co-curator and artist, created a sequel to this, introducing newly developed work by the artists as they continue to experiment with early photographic processes. Old Daguerreotypes and glass plates were also on display.

Exhibiting Artists: Rob Ball, Nettie Edwards, Melanie King, Constanza Isaza Martinez and Yaz Norris.

22nd August - 13th September 2015
Stories Seen Through A Glass Plate, back by popular demand 
We were asked to bring the exhibition back in 2015, during the Artwave festival and Lewes Heritage week.


4th October - 2nd November 2014
Stories Seen Through A Glass Plate 
Lewes High Street 

An exhibition of 80 lightboxes in the windows of 56 locations in Lewes High Street showing historic shop fronts.

It showed work by the first three generations of Reeves photographers, presented as light boxes in 56 shop windows. The photographs were presented on the locations where they were taken many years ago. The light boxes were custom made and built to be re-used.

This was the first in a series of exhibitions about different aspects of life in Lewes and the surrounding countryside. Curated and conceived by Brigitte Lardinois, Senior Research Fellow at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London with Matt Haycocks, University of Ulster, assisted by Yaz Norris, photographer. Stories Seen Thorough A Glass Plate was first exhibited during the Brighton Biennial in October 2014

Above: Lightboxes on display in a shop window; F.W. Woolworth & Co. Ltd., Cliffe High Street, Lewes

4th October - 2nd November 2014
Capturing Light 
Lewes Castle & Barbican Museum 

A selection of contemporary artists using early photographic processes. Among these were examples of the Daguerreotype, Cyanotype and the Camera Obscura, as well as various old cameras and glass plates on display for viewing.

Exhibiting Artists: Nettie Edwards, Melanie King, Constanza Isaza Martinez, Yaz Norris and Alvaro Petritoli.

Above: assistant curator Yaz Norris showing artwork at Capturing Light

4th October - 2nd November 2014
Edward Reeves - The History of the Shop 
Edward Reeves Studio Gallery, 159 High Street Lewes 

The history of the oldest continuously run photographic studio in the world. An exhibition of the shop through the past 160 years from Edward Reeves I to his great-grandson and current owner, Tom Reeves, as they developed with the photographic medium from glass plates to digital.