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Harold Matthew Evans; Tina Brown ('The Editors')

Harold Matthew Evans; Tina Brown ('The Editors'), by David Buckland, 1987 - NPG P380 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Harold Matthew Evans; Tina Brown ('The Editors')

by David Buckland
cibachrome print, 1987
39 in. x 30 in. (991 mm x 762 mm)
Commissioned, 1988
Primary Collection
NPG P380

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Hard, glossy and unreal, this photograph by David Buckland manages both to commemorate and to satirise the fictions of 1980s image-building. Harold Evans, as former editor at the Sunday Times, is associated with the promotion of colour supplement culture with its emphasis on lifestyle features and profiles, although he was also a great supporter of investigative journalism. His wife Tina Brown made her name as editor of Tatler before moving to New York, where she was editor first of Vanity Fair and now of The New Yorker.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 313 Read entry

    Harold Evans and his wife Tina Brown are two of the most successful and original editors today. Evans made his reputation on northern newspapers, before moving south to The Sunday Times in 1966. He was editor there from 1967-81, in arguably its greatest days, moving to The Times in 1981. Tina Brown won the Catherine Pakenham Prize for most promising female journalist in 1973, and was Young Journalist of the Year for 1978. As editor of The Tatler (1979-83) she was a triumphant success, bringing wit and bite to a tired favourite, and tripling its circulation in the process. In 1981 she married Harold Evans, and the pair now work in New York, he as editor-in-chief of Traveler Magazine and vice-president of Weidenfeld and Nicolson, she as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, where she has again worked the Tatler miracle.

    David Buckland studied at the London College of Printing (1967-70) and held a Northern Arts fellowship in photography (1971-3). He has taught at the Royal College of Art in London, and in addition to his photographic work, has designed sets and costumes for Ballet Rambert and the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He has had numerous one-man shows in England and abroad, and his work was included in ‘Twenty for Today’ (1986) at the National Portrait Gallery. His large portraits have a mythic quality, and he undoubtedly sees his sitters as types in a pageant of contemporary society. For Evans and Brown he creates a glowing image of international celebrity, and he has spoken of the photograph’s ‘Hollywood colour’. It was taken in a New York studio, the back-drop of the Manhattan skyline supplied by front-projection, a film technique which he uses to dramatic effect in his still photography.

  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 225
  • Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 225 Read entry

    Hard, glossy and unreal, this photograph by David Buckland manages both to commemorate and to satirise the fictions of the 1980s image-building. Harold Evans, as former editor at the Sunday Times, is associated with the promotion of colour supplement culture with its emphasis on lifestyle features and profiles, although he was also a great supporter of investigative journalism. His wife Tina Brown made her name as editor of Tatler before moving to New York, where she was editor first of Vanity Fair and now of The New Yorker. Together they stand as icons to the fact that glossy magazines are now the fastest route into the halls of fame.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 82

Events of 1987back to top

Current affairs

Hurricane-force winds batter southern England, blowing-down trees, and damaging buildings, blocking roads and causing 19 deaths. The storm was not predicted by the Met Office, a fact that is often jeeringly referred to by quoting Michael Fish's response to a report that 'there was a hurricane on the way…don't worry… there isn't' (the report was actually referring to Florida, not the UK).

Art and science

Alan Bennett's series of monologues Talking Heads is aired by the BBC. The series featured a set of characters that show the secret lives of the English: their dreams, frustrations, and fantasies. The impressive cast included Dame Thora Hird, Patricia Routledge, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters and Bennett himself.

International

The second largest ever one-day percentage decline in the stock market is named Black Monday. The Dow Jones index in the USA dropped dramatically followed by similar drops around the world. It is still unclear what exactly caused the crash, although worldwide panic selling certainly made it escalate.
Terry Waite is taken hostage while trying to negotiate the release of four men held by the Islamic Jihad in Beirut.

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