after Unknown artist
photograph, 1961 (circa 1629)
24 1/2 in. x 20 in. (621 mm x 508 mm) paper size
acquired National Portrait Gallery: London: UK, 1961
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Events of 1961back to top
Current affairsPeter Benenson's article The Forgotten Prisoners is published internationally, inspiring the founding of the human rights organisation, Amnesty International.The philosopher and peace activist Bertrand Russell is imprisoned for inciting civil disobedience during a sit down demonstration at the Ministry of Defence and Hyde Park.The farthing coin - used in Britain for the last 7 centuries - ceases to be legal tender.
Art and scienceRudolf Nureyev defects from the USSR fearing that the KGB would arrest him for being gay and for fraternising with foreigners. After seeking asylum in Paris he set up home in London at the Royal Ballet and began his famous partnership with Margot Fonteyn.The satirical magazine, Private Eye is first published.
InternationalThe East German government erects the Berlin Wall, ceasing free movement between East and West Berlin. The barrier prevented citizens of Soviet controlled East Germany from crossing the border into West Germany to work, or to defect.Yuri Gagarin, the soviet cosmonaut, becomes the first man in space orbiting the earth on the 12th April.
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 31 December
- Portrait of the Day: Augustus Pugin
19 December, 12:30