5 of 275 portraits by Angus McBean
Angus McBean Photograph. © Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University.
by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1938
11 1/4 in. x 9 1/2 in. (287 mm x 240 mm)
Artistback to top
- Angus McBean (1904-1990), Photographer. Artist associated with 275 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. 41 Read entry
The second of McBean’s 'Surrealised Portraits' for The Sketch featured the American-born singer and actress, Mary Ellis, who lived to be 105 and enjoyed a career lasting over fifty years. Born in New York, Ellis began her career in opera, appearing for four years at the Metropolitan Opera, sharing the stage with legends such as Caruso and Chaliapin before turning to straight acting roles and then starring in the 1924 musical Rose Marie. Ellis came to London with her third husband, the British actor Basil Sydney, in 1930 and won plaudits for her acting in Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude (1931). Two years later, she starred in C. B. Cochran’s production of Jerome Kerns Music in the Air (1933), where Ivor Novello spotted her and persuaded her to take the lead in two of his most successful Drury Lane musicals, Glamorous Night (1935) and The Dancing Years (1939). The latter title also served as the name of her 1982 autobiography.
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.