Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer Portraits of Artists from Paris, London and St. Ives

Past beyond the gallery archive
26 January - 13 April 2013

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

  • Partnership exhibition



Ida Kar, by Ida Kar, 1962 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Ida Kar
by Ida Kar
1962
NPG x88688

In 1960 Ida Kar (1908-74) became the first photographer to have a retrospective exhibition at a major London art gallery. Russian-born, of Armenian heritage, she received public and critical acclaim from her contemporaries. She remains surprisingly little known today, yet she was instrumental in encouraging the acceptance of photography as fine art. Her portraits offer a fascinating insight into post-war cultural life and her subjects included some of the most celebrated figures from the literary and art worlds of 1950s and 1960s Europe and Russia. This exhibition is drawn from the Ida Kar Archive, acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1999 and includes around 40 of her portraits.