Angus McBean Photograph. © Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University.
by Angus McBean
bromide print, 1938
11 1/2 in. x 9 1/2 in. (292 mm x 242 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Frances Day (Frances Victoria Schenk) (1908-1984), Actress and singer. Sitter in 7 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Angus McBean (1904-1990), Photographer. Artist associated with 271 portraits, Sitter in 79 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Pepper, Terence, Angus McBean Portraits, 2006 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 July to 22 October 2006), p. 46 Read entry
Frances Day was born Frances Victoria Schenk in New York and worked in cabaret in America before moving to London during the late 1920s. She made her film debut in England in 1928 and appeared on the West End stage in 1932 as Molly Harper in Out of the Bottle at the London Hippodrome. This tableau shows Day in a lobster pot washed up on a rock juxtaposed with a disembodied hand holding up a mirror. It borrows strong surreal elements from both Salvador Dali and Yves Tanguy, underlined by a painting by Roy Hobdell (McBean's collaborator) on the back wall of the studio. When this photograph was taken Day was appearing as Polly Brown in The Fleet's Lit Up.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1938back to top
Current affairsBritain pursues its policy of appeasement. At the Munich Agreement, Britain, France and Italy agreed to allow Hitler to seize the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia. The agreement was seen at the time as a triumph for peace, with Neville Chamberlain returning home brandishing the paper agreement and saying 'peace for our time.' Within six months Germany had occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Art and scienceGraham Greene publishes Brighton Rock. The novel follows the descent of Pinky, a teenage gang leader in Brighton's criminal underworld. The book examines the criminal mind and explores the themes of morality and sin - recurrent concerns for the Roman Catholic Author.
Glasgow hosts the Empire Exhibition; an £11 million celebration of the British Empire visited by 13 million people.
InternationalIn its pursuit of 'Lebensraum' (living space), Germany annexes Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia with little opposition from the League of Nations. At home, the Nazis continued their escalating persecution of the Jews with 'Kristallnach' (the Night of Broken Glass), attacking Jewish homes, shops, businesses and synagogues, and taking Jewish men to concentration camps.
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