Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
by Sir Gerald Kelly
oil on canvas, 1958-1961
42 in. x 35 in. (1067 mm x 889 mm)
Given by the sitter's widow, (Joan) Ursula Penton Wood Vaughan Williams (née Lock), 1970
Artistback to top
- Sir Gerald Kelly (1879-1972), Painter and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 27 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A composer of symphonic and choral music, Vaughan Williams was a leading figure in the folk-song revival and as a young man edited the English Hymnal. His varied and prolific oeuvre includes On Wenlock Edge (1909), The Lark Ascending (1920) and the Sinfonia Antartica written in 1952 following music he had written for the film Scott of the Antarctic (1948). In this portrait Vaughan Williams, who is wearing a hearing aid, is shown with a conductor's rod in his hand and a score open before him.
Given by the sitter's widow, Mrs Ursula Vaughan Williams, 1970.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 632
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Clear Vision: Brockhurst, Frampton and Kelly (Until 8 July 2007)
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.
InternationalFollowing the USSR's successful launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957, America launches its own space agency, NASA. Under pressure from the Soviets' early lead, NASA began research into human spaceflight. The competition between the two superpowers to explore outer space, send humans beyond the Earth's orbit and land on the moon was known as the 'space race'.
See this portrait
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery