Displaying Lionel Wendt: Seeking Archival Material


The Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund (LWMF) is presently engaged in creating an archive of Lionel Wendt, his work and the Centre for the Arts built in his memory. The LWMF is the only officially appointed organisation in the world established with the purpose of perpetuating the legacy of Lionel Wendt.

The Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund (LWMF), was established as a charitable trust in 1946 and incorporated in 1948 under the patronage of Harold Peiris, a close friend of Lionel Wendt, with the objectives of perpetuating the memory of Lionel Wendt and the development of the arts by stimulating an interest in it and by creating a wider and more appreciative public. With this purpose in mind Alborado, the residence of Lionel Wendt, was gifted to make room for the Lionel Wendt Art Centre in 1953.

Lionel Wendt (1900-1944), a barrister by profession, was a pianist, a photographer and a lover of the arts. His work was exhibited in 1938 in London by the makers of Leica cameras, a rare distinction accorded to few. He was also an educator, with the rare ability to draw out of people their latent talents.

The Archive includes the LWMF’s unique collection of Lionel Wendt’s photographs, audio-visual materials (including specially filmed oral history interviews), ephemera and publications related to exhibition histories of Wendt’s work, as well as a record of the history and events of the Art Centre and Theatre. Work on a Digital Archive of the LWMF collection of photographs has already commenced and art historian Sharmini Pereira, in her capacity as the Chief Curator of the LWMF Collection, is in the process of cataloguing the photographs and overseeing an extensive conservation and training project. The LWMF has also employed Johann Peiris (a musician and sociologist) as a Research Assistant to source and document material for the Archive. As a musician, his research includes rare material on aspects of Wendt’s musical career and interests. Plans are being developed for a permanent gallery space dedicated exclusively to the display of the Trust’s collection which will include a research facility to house the archival materials on Lionel Wendt which will be open to the public, scholars and students.

The LWMF is dedicated to making this Archive the most comprehensive record of the work of a truly great photographer and is making an appeal for any relevant material such as Lionel Wendt’s photographic work, books, music scores, press cuttings, articles, magazines and other publications and documents with his work or references to him as well as exhibition and theatre performance catalogues, reviews and any memorabiliaAny references to Harold Peiris and others who were closely associated with Lionel Wendt and the Centre will also be of great use.

A Register with details of the donor and the material donated will be maintained.

Please email:  Lionel Wendt Art Centre <info@lionelwendt.org>, or contact Ms Dilrukshi Rambukwella-Administrative Secretary, LWMF at +9411 2695794 in this regard.


* http://www.ft.lk/ft-lite/lionel-wendt-and-pssl-60th-international-photographic-exhibition-what-an-unnerving-paradox/6-493165

* https://www.magzter.com/articles/5738/259554/5a4e2c42310ed

* https://www.ellendissanayake.com/lionel-wendt/



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