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Dorothy Hodgkin

1 of 17 portraits of Dorothy Hodgkin

© Peter Lofts Photography / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dorothy Hodgkin

by Ramsey & Muspratt
bromide print, circa 1937
9 7/8 in. x 7 7/8 in. (251 mm x 197 mm) uneven
Given by Jane Burch, 1988
Primary Collection
NPG P363(13)

Sitterback to top

  • Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994), Chemist and crystallographer; Nobel Prize winner; wife of Thomas Lionel Hodgkin. Sitter in 17 portraits.

Artistback to top

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Jordanova, Ludmilla, Defining Features: Scientific and Medical Portraits 1660-2000, 2000 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 14 April to 17 September 2000), p. 46
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 227 Read entry

    In the 1940s Dorothy Hodgkin carried out pioneering work on the structure of penicillin, and in 1964 was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for her work on the structure of Vitamin B12. In 1969 she established the chemical structure of insulin, and continues to work on its description. In 1965 she was admitted to the Order of Merit, only the second woman after Florence Nightingale to receive this honour. In addition to her scientific work, she has been a prominent worker for international peace and understanding.

    The Cambridge firm of Ramsey & Muspratt was founded by Lettice Ramsey (1898-1985) and Helen Muspratt (born 1907) in about 1930. According to Ramsey 'She [Muspratt] had the know-how, I had the connections'. From their studio came a succession of unaffected portraits of the intellectual and literary luminaries of Cambridge of the pre-war years, 'a unique chronicle of youth with its eye on futurity'. Muspratt extended the business to Oxford in 1937, while Ramsey stayed on to become a notable Cambridge character. This photograph is one of a group of prints donated to the Gallery by Lettice Ramsey's daughter. It was taken in the mid-1930s, shortly before the sitter's marriage to Thomas Hodgkin, writer on African affairs.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 306

Events of 1937back to top

Current affairs

George VI becomes king. The younger brother of Edward VIII was crowned on the 12th May and the coronation was broadcast to Britain and the Empire on the radio. Edward becomes the Duke of Windsor, although the rank of 'Royal Highness' is not extended to Wallis Simpson.
Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister following Baldwin's retirement.

Art and science

Roland Penrose organises a tour of Picasso's painting Guernica to the UK. The painting, which shows the horrors of the Spanish Civil War, went on display at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in East London.
A new synthetic fabric is invented and named after New York and London: Nylon.

International

Commercial airship travel is brought to an end with the 'Hindenberg Disaster'. The German airship exploded while landing in New Jersey. The radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison's reaction has become legendary: 'Oh, the humanity!'
Japan invades China, killing about 25,000. Japanese Troops committed numerous atrocities against soldiers and civilians in what became known as the 'Rape of Nanking'.

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