5 of 111 portraits of Laurence Olivier
by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1954
39 1/8 in. x 29 5/8 in. (995 mm x 753 mm)
Given by the photographer, Yousuf Karsh, 1984
Sitterback to top
- Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier (1907-1989), Actor, producer and director. Sitter in 111 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002), Photographer. Artist associated with 155 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Olivier had spent the day acting and directing his film version of Richard III when Karsh took this photograph.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 468
Events of 1954back to top
Current affairsRoger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.
Art and scienceJ.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.