London, uk

Schools' Workshop: Exhibition in a Box

Sep 10 – Nov 7 || Multiple dates

KS2 and KS3

Primary Secondary
request a workshop

Using portraits in Autograph’s archive collection as a starting point, this two-part workshop invites KS2 and KS3 students to explore how histories are collected, shared and created through photography


These workshops are suitable for KS2 and KS3


This is a two-part workshop. The first workshop will take place at your school, the second workshop will take place at Autograph


Art & Design, Photography and Media Studies

about the workshop

Using portraits in Autograph’s archive collection as a starting point, this two-part workshop invites students to explore how histories are collected, shared and created through photography.

Taking place within the context of your school, the first workshop will be centred around transforming the classroom into a pop-up exhibition using portraits from Autograph’s Exhibition in a Box and Archive Learning Resource. Students will write and discuss their intuitive responses to the portraits, listening to and interpreting the images. Students will work together to find thematic, historical and conceptual links between the portraits and will take ownership in curating their own mini-exhibition. Their discussions will be the basis of justifying their creative decision-making in curating the portraits.

After the introductory session, Autograph will leave the display up in the classroom, inviting you to engage with the photographs independently with your students through a series of prompts.

The second workshop will take at Autograph 2 - 6 weeks later. Moving beyond discussing and analysing photographs, this session invites students to think about their own identities through a series of practical activities. They will explore self-representation through self-portraiture, still life and writing. Students will consider the choices they make when asked to self-represent and self-express through these three forms. Students will work collaboratively, using the portraits from Workshop 1 as a jumping board, to think about how their self-representations could be articulated as part a wider expression of their local community and its history.

Read More

This workshops will ask:
How do we read portraits and what do they tell us about the sitter?
How do you curate an exhibition and what choices might a curator make to link images thematically together?
What does it mean to articulate oneself through portraiture and how would you choose to portray yourself?

workshop dates

You can book a workshop for your class on one of the dates below. Once you have booked on to the first workshop, we will arrange the second workshop date directly with you.

Tuesday 10th September
Thursday 12th September
Tuesday 15th October
Thursday 17th October
Tuesday 22nd October
Thursday 24th October
Tuesday 5th November
Thursday 7th November

Those dates don't work? Get in touch! You can request another date on the booking form and we'll try to make it happen.

how to book

Click the button below to fill in a quick form to request a workshop.

These workshops are suitable for KS2 and KS3, please specify on the form which age group you are bringing so we can tailor the experience for your students.

After we receive your form, a member of Autograph's team will be in touch to confirm your booking and answer any questions.



Exhibition in a Box: Black Chronicles

A free teaching resource of 19th century photographs portraying people of African, Caribbean and South Asian descent during the Victorian era in Britain.

Find out more

Archive Learning Resource: Diverse Britain

A free teaching resource of diverse photography produced in Britain since 1945, fostering a deeper understanding of the complex intersections of race, culture and individual identity.

Find out more

about the Workshop leader

Esme Allman

Esme Allman is a poet, theatremaker and facilitator from South London. Her work explores History, the Archive, Imagined Worlds, and Desire within black femininity. Esme has been an artist on several Creative Curriculum projects as part of the Barbican Centre, the Unicorn Theatre and the Primary Shakespeare Company.

Each project has explored how theatre, poetry and performance are embedded in the curriculum at Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 levels and how creativity enriches the learning experience for pupils.

She is a theatre director and her upcoming production Statues by Azan Ahmed, will run at the Bush Theatre in Autumn 2024. She directed To The People by John Dinneen and Alex Urwin (April 2022) and was the assistant director on Cinderella (Brixton House, 2023), Alice in Wonderland (RADA Vanburgh Theatre, 2023) and Run It Back (Hackney Showroom 2018).

She has facilitated creative workshops with the Arvon Foundation, Sydenham Arts, Kings Theatre, Fevered Sleep and the Robert Bosch Foundation in Berlin. Esme's work has been commissioned by the Barbican Centre, Roundhouse, English Heritage, the ICA, BBC Radio 3, and BBC Radio 6.

Read More



Everyone is welcome at Autograph. Planning a visit? Have a look at our Visit Us page to find out more about getting to the gallery, accessibility and more.


Accessible VEnue

Autograph welcomes people with all types of disabilities.


Group size

For safety, the maximum number of people allowed in the gallery is 30.


Step free

Our building and entrance is step free. A wheelchair accessible lift goes to all floors.


Two disabled parking bays are available to book in advance, located directly next to our building.

more for educatorS

Guided Exhibition Tours for Schools and Groups

You will be greeted by gallery staff, who will provide an introduction to Autograph and a 20 minute guided tour of the exhibition

Read more

Self-led Group Exhibition Visits

Prefer a self-led visit? We warmly welcome schools, FE/HE, community and youth groups to book a free group visit to our exhibitions

Read more

Developing your photography practice

Industry leaders demystify how to produce, edition and distribute photography in this collection of short videos.

Read more

Online CPD

An online introduction to our free photography teaching resource, exploring how photography tells stories and how narratives can be shaped by individual perspectives

Read more

Exhibition Classroom Exhibition Guide

A free classroom guide to use before, during and after your class visit to Autograph

Read more

Banner image: Courtesy Autograph, London.

Images on page: 1)  Maharaja Duleep Singh. London, circa 1864. Photographer: John Mayall. Courtesy of Autograph. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Sargano Alicamousa. Aboyne, Scotland 1890s. Photographer: R. Milne. Courtesy of Autograph. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
2) Dawoud Bey, Stuart Hall, 1998. © and courtesy the artist. Image card taken from Autograph's Archive Learning Resource. 3) Courtesy Esme Allman. 4) Autograph. Photograph by Zoë Maxwell.