Morley was behind the iconic 1963 image of Christine Keeler sitting
naked on a dining chair at the height of the Profumo political scandal.
The photographer also captured portraits of many other famous names of the Sixties, including Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy. He emigrated to Australia in 1971.
The NMM is ‘concluding plans to consolidate his extensive archive in Bradford by the end of this year’, said Paul Goodman, the museum’s head of collections and projects.
He added: ‘The… archive is currently split between Palm Springs in the US and Sydney, Australia and comprises a comprehensive selection of prints, including some of the best-known work, accompanied by his complete accumulation of negatives and extensive personal ephemera and correspondence.’
Morley was fiercely protective of his copyright in the famous shot of Christine Keeler.
In 2001, the photographer accused producers of a West End play, called Entertaining Mr Sloane, of breaching his copyright by using pictures of actors adopting a Keeler-like pose on promotional material.
Morley claimed copyright in the way Keeler posed on the chair.
At the time, Morley’s lawyers claimed that the photographer held copyright in the way in which the nude subject was posed in relation to the chair, the camera, the lighting of the shot and the background.
However, a subsequent investigation by Amateur Photographer (AP) established that the idea for this style of photo shoot was nothing new.
AP staff – who were dubbed ‘darkroom sleuths’ by one national newspaper – discovered that in 1958, the magazine had published a photograph of a ballerina called Mimi adopting a similar pose in a picture taken by Carlo Bevilacqua.
The Keeler-pose style has been copied many times, including by TV presenter Keith Chegwin who appeared naked on a chair for a Channel 5 series.
Morley, who was born in Hong Kong, studied at the Twickenham Art School and worked as a painter in Paris in the early 1950s.
AP interviewed Lewis Morley in 1999.