4 of 15 portraits of Brendan Behan
by Daniel Farson
glossy bromide print, 1 August 1952
7 3/8 in. x 7 5/8 in. (186 mm x 193 mm) image size
Artistback to top
- Daniel Farson (1927-1997), Photographer and writer. Artist of 47 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Farson's week with Behan resulted in 'hundreds of photographs…that have a poignancy, for they show him at his happiest'. Behan began to write while imprisoned for IRA terrorist activities. His plays The Quare Fellow (1956) and The Hostage (1958) were produced by Joan Littlewood and Behan's colourful memoir Borstal Boy (1958) established him as a leading Irish writer. As Farson recalled, 'by the end of the week he was dramatically black-eyed and bruised after a fight. Unshaven, scarred, he looked magnificent, with his zest for life intact.' However alcoholism later resulted in his premature death.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Famous in the Fifties: Photographs by Daniel Farson (19 April 2012 - 16 September 2012)
Events of 1952back to top
Current affairsKing George VI is found dead in his bed in Sandringham; he had been suffering from lung cancer. His daughter Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, became Queen, the only monarch not to know the precise moment of her accession as her father was alone when he died. Elizabeth was crowned the following year.
Art and scienceSamuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot is performed for the first time in Paris. The play belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd style, which influenced playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.
Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap opens in London. It is still going.