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Sylvia Plath

1 of 2 portraits of Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath, by Rollie McKenna, 1959 - NPG P1679 - © Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation; Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona Foundation

© Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation; Courtesy Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona Foundation

Sylvia Plath

by Rollie McKenna
bromide print, 1959
7 1/8 in. x 5 7/8 in. (181 mm x 150 mm) image size
Given by Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation, 2011
Primary Collection
NPG P1679

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Sitterback to top

  • Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), Poet and writer. Sitter in 2 portraits, Artist of 1 portrait.

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McKenna's photograph of Plath, taken shortly before Plath and Hughes returned to live in England, has become one of the defining images of the poet. Texas-born McKenna who described her approach as 'free-wheeling portraiture' was inspired to become a literary photographer after meeting the American writer John Malcolm Brinnin in 1950. Their collaborations included The Modern Poets: An American-British Anthology (1963).

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