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Man Ray with his painting 'Mademoiselle H'

4 of 16 portraits of Man Ray

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Man Ray with his painting 'Mademoiselle H'

by Ida Kar
quarter-plate film negative, 30 March 1954
Purchased, 1999
Photographs Collection
NPG x132224

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Ida Kar (1908-1974), Photographer. Artist associated with 1564 portraits, Sitter in 137 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Kar photographed Man Ray at his Paris apartment on rue Férou, where he moved in 1952 with his wife and muse Juliet Browner. He appears posing next to Mademoiselle H. (1952), a portrait of his friend Henriette.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Freestone, Clare (appreciation) Wright, Karen (appreciation), Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 March to 19 June 2011), p. 72 Read entry

    Born Emmanuel Radnitzky in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Man Ray grew up in New York. In 1915 he met the French artist Marcel Duchamp, and together they formed the New York group of Dada artists. In 1921 Man Ray moved to Paris, where he played a key role in the Dada and surrealist movements, producing paintings, assemblage-objects, films and photographs. He pioneered new photographic techniques such as 'rayographs' and 'solarizations' and was active as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair in the 1920s and Harper's Bazaar in the 1930s. Kar photographed Man Ray at his Paris apartment-studio at 2 bis rue Férou, near the Luxembourg Gardens, where he moved in 1952 with wife and muse Juliet Browner. He appears posing next to Mademoiselle H. (1952), a portrait of a young friend called Henriette that hung at Man Ray's home until his death.

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: France (sitter's home, 2 bis rue Férou, Paris, France)

Events of 1954back to top

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Roger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.

Art and science

J.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.


The South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) is established in Bangkok. This international defence organisation was established as part of the 'containment' policy of limiting the influence of communism. SEATO was, however, found to be ineffective as the member organisations failed to agree on combined action; it was disbanded in 1977.

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