Portraits in disguise - NPG P490(79)
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir
by Yousuf Karsh
It seems particularly fitting that Canada's most famous photographer, Karsh, should photograph John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875-1940), best known as the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps, for he served as Governor-General of Canada from 1935 to 1940. Karsh created this image of Tweedsmuir four years before his celebrated portrait of Winston Churchill, a picture that was to transform his photographic reputation, but already in 1937 we can see the importance in his work of dramatic lighting and the ability to convey a certain gravitas by means of isolating the sitter. The headdress is part of native American Indian ceremonial costume, and lends a wonderful air to this portrayal of a Governor-General.
by Howard Coster, 1937
NPG X3163 (Detail)
An elegant, well-tailored three-piece single-breasted chalk-striped suit. The out-breast welt pocket shows the tip of a handkerchief.