by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1958
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Sitterback to top
- William ('W.') Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), Novelist, playwright and spy. Sitter associated with 114 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Ida Kar (1908-1974), Photographer. Artist associated with 1537 portraits, Sitter in 136 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Kar photographed Maugham at the Dorchester hotel on a visit to London from his home on the French Riviera. His essays on Goethe, Chekhov, Henry James and Katherine Mansfield were published in Points of View in the year this photograph was taken.
Events of 1958back to top
Current affairsBritain's first motorway is built. The Preston bypass (M6) was the first road to be built to official motorway standards, although the M1 (opened in 1959) was the first road to be given official status. The road was opened by the Prime minister, Harold Macmillan, and heralded a new age of mass, high-speed motoring.
Art and scienceMichael Bond publishes A Bear Called Paddington, the first Paddington Bear book. This popular character is remembered for being found at Paddington Station by the Brown family, for wearing a floppy hat, duffle coat and Wellington boots, and for his penchant for marmalade sandwiches.
The children's television programme, Blue Peter, is broadcast for the first time.