18 of 41 portraits of Samuel Beckett
by Hugo Jehle
bromide print, circa 1981
9 1/8 in. x 6 3/4 in. (231 mm x 173 mm) overall
acquired, 1988 in conjunction with the exhibition 'Beckett In Close Up'
Events of 1981back to top
Current affairsPrince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul's Cathedral. A crowd of 600,000 spectators filled the streets to catch a glimpse of the Royal couple, and 750 million viewers watched the event on television. The iconic moment came when Charles and Diana appeased the crowds by breaking royal protocol and kissing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Art and scienceAndrew Lloyd-Webber's musical Cats, based on T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, opens in the West End. The show ran for 21 years.
Brideshead Revisited, the 1945 novel by Evelyn Waugh, is adapted for television by John Mortimer. The lavish production featured an all-star cast of Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom and John Gielgud, setting the bar high for future TV costume dramas.
InternationalPope John Paul II is shot by a Turkish gunman in St Peter's Square in Rome. John Paul was rushed to hospital where he recovered, and Mehmet Ali Agca was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment.
HIV AIDS is identified in five men in Los Angeles.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
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