by Godfrey Argent
bromide print, photomontage, 7 June 1968
11 in. x 8 in. (280 mm x 203 mm) image size
Sitterback to top
- Duncan Grant (1885-1978), Artist. Sitter associated with 29 portraits, Artist of 9 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Godfrey Argent (1937-2006), Photographer. Artist associated with 800 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Taken for the National Photographic Record, Grant appears relaxed and happy as he poses in his studio at Charleston. Sir Roy Strong, the National Portrait Gallery's director at the time, encouraged Argent to photograph cultural figures and to record the sitters in appropriate locations. Vanessa Bell and Grant used to paint together in this room, until she moved to her own space at the top of the house. The studio is an excellent example of Bell and Grant's decorative style: painted tiles, decorated furniture, ceramics, academic casts, fabrics, screens, busts and family portraits.
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, Sussex (sitter's studio, Charleston, Firle, Lewes, East Sussex)
Events of 1968back to top
Current affairsEnoch Powell delivers his 'Rivers of Blood' speech in Birmingham in opposition to anti-discrimination legislation and immigration from the commonwealth. The speech is usually regarded as racist and blamed for stirring up racial prejudice. Powell was sacked from the shadow cabinet as a result, but received considerable public approval at the time for his views.
Fay Sislin becomes England first black woman police officer.
Art and scienceBeaton Portraits is the first ever photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Under the directorship of Roy Strong, the exhibition introduced a new, theatrical approach to display, and was so popular that the national press reported on the length of queues to get in and it had to be extended twice.
InternationalCivil unrest escalates in France as student protesters, joined by striking workers, clash with the police. The events came to represent the conflict between the new, liberalised, left-wing generation and the forces of authority and conservatism. French protests were mirrored by others abroad including the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, where political liberalisation was achieved for a few months before the country was invaded by the Soviet Union.
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