Jorge Lewinski

Past display archive

Photographs 1965-2006 | In the Collection



Mary Quant, by Jorge (

Mary Quant
by Jorge ('J.S.') Lewinski
June 1966
NPG P1056

Jorge Lewinski was born in Poland in 1921, and arrived in Britain in 1942 to serve with the RAF. While studying economics in London, Lewinski took up photography as an amateur. In 1962 he started photographing leading British artists and by 1995 he had documented over 300. Highlights of this archive, now held at Chatsworth, were published in Portrait of the Artist (Royal Academy, 2005).

Until 1982 Lewinski taught at the London College of Printing. His work was first acquired and exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in 1972 and has subsequently been exhibited internationally.

A selection of ten portraits of women from an archive of Jorge Lewinski's work recently purchased for the Collection is shown for the first time in this display. Subjects include eminent style-makers of the time from Mary Quant wearing one of her minidresses to the Observer journalist Katherine Whitehorn shown typing her influential and opinion-forming column.

Other more contemplative portrait studies include author Brigid Brophy and photographer Ida Kar. The effervescent actress Diana Rigg, Olympic athlete Lillian Board, jazz singer Cleo Laine and the academic Elizabeth Chilver provide additional lustre to the group of subjects that Lewinski chose to portray in this eventful era that turned a brighter spotlight on women's achievements.

Selected portraits from this display:
Mary Quant | Brigid Brophy | Ida Kar | Diana Rigg | Lillian Board | Cleo Laine | Elizabeth Chilver