by Carl Van Vechten
vintage gelatin silver print, 17 June 1939
13 1/4 in. x 10 5/8 in. (335 mm x 270 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier (1907-1989), Actor, producer and director. Sitter in 114 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), Critic, novelist and photographer. Artist of 22 portraits.
Events of 1939back to top
Current affairsBritain goes to war. The German invasion of Poland demonstrated that the policy of appeasement had failed. After refusing to meet Britain's ultimatum to withdraw troops, Britain and France declared war on Germany. The Second World War had begun.
Art and scienceThe Sutton Hoo burial ship is discovered. Apparently following a dream, Mrs Pretty invited the archaeologist Basil Brown to investigate a series of burial mounds on her estate on the banks of the river Deben in Suffolk. The excavation revealed an Anglo-Saxon burial, uncovering the most significant horde of early medieval artefacts found in Britain (now housed at the British Museum).
InternationalThe Second World War begins. Germany's invasion of Poland prompted Britain and France to declare war forming the core of the Allied powers. As part of the Soviet-Nazi Pact, the Soviet Union joined the war on the German side, helping, with Italy, to form the Axis Powers. Poland was soon overpowered and the Baltic Republics and Finland were invaded by the Soviet Union.
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