A 1960s fashion photographer who deliberately destroyed many of his negatives by fire 30 years ago is to stage a major exhibition of the surviving pictures for the first time.

Regarded as one of the most ‘dynamic and inventive’ photographers of the 1960s Brian Duffy helped document the ‘swinging sixties’, along with the likes of David Bailey and Terence Donovan.

However, Duffy vanished from the photographic scene leading to rumours that he had burned all his negatives.

‘Thankfully, not all the negatives were destroyed,’ said a spokesman for the Chris Beetles Gallery in London where the surviving images will go on show after years of ‘painstaking’ archival work.

‘Camden Council had received complaints from neighbours about clouds of acrid smoke and so intervened. Had they not, Duffy would indeed have thrown the lot on the fire that afternoon.’

The gallery, which will showcase 60 of Duffy’s images, added: ‘It is an extraordinary and largely unseen body of work that powerfully documents the vibrancy of London in the “swinging ’60s”‘.

Famous subjects in the pictures include Michael Caine, John Lennon (pictured) and Sammy Davis Junior.

The exhibition opens on 14 October.

Picture credit: Brian Duffy

Brian Duffy, John Lennon