Wimbledon has been forced to remove an image of the poster from its Twitter account. The dress worn by Tennis Girl, along with two posters and a tennis racquet (pictured above), went on sale at Fieldings Auctioneers in Stourbridge, West Midlands, last year.
The controversial poster forms part of the Powerful Posters show at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
The club yesterday posted an image of the Tennis Girl poster to its Twitter account, which has nearly 1.5 million followers.
But the move drew criticism, with one Twitter user writing: ‘The poster doesn’t show the history of tennis, the girl isn’t a tennis player, you are just publicising sexualisation of females.’
The club later withdrew the photo saying: ‘We apologise for offence caused by the Athena Tennis Girl poster. It is a controversial piece of poster history but we do not endorse it.’
Captured by Martin Elliott on a Birmingham University tennis court in 1976 – using a Nikon F1 camera and Kodak film – the image attained iconic status when it was made into an Athena poster, selling more than two million copies worldwide.
At the time, Martin was an unknown 29-year-old commercial photographer.
Speaking to Amateur Photographer, in 2007, Martin said: ‘Technically, it’s a good picture, but I had the luck of the devil with the way it turned out.’
Martin died in 2010, aged 63.