20 of 31 portraits of Merle Oberon
by Dorothy Wilding
half-plate film negative, 1956
Sitterback to top
- Merle Oberon (Estelle Merle O'Brien Thompson) (1911-1979), Film actress. Sitter in 31 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976), Photographer. Artist associated with 2177 portraits, Sitter in 30 portraits.
Events of 1956back to top
Current affairsThe first supermarket opens in Britain. Inspired by the new innovation in America, Jack Cohen opened his first Tesco supermarket in Essex.
The First Clean Air Act is passed in response to the 'Pea Soup' smog over London.
Art and sciencePop Art is seen for the first time in the This is Tomorrow exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. The exhibition included Richard Hamilton's iconic collage: What is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing?
John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger opens at the Royal Court Theatre, introducing the phrase 'Angry young man' to describe the new movement of gritty, post-war realism in literature.
InternationalThe Suez Crisis rocked Eden's premiership and marked the decline of British world power and influence in favour of America. In 1956 President Nasser of Egypt nationalised the Suez canal. Although Britain and France, who had owned the canal since the 19th century, invaded Egypt, they were soon persuaded to withdraw by US President Eisenhower who disapproved of the occupation.
Develop your art skills
Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.
Hold Still photography workshop
Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise.
Draw Like a Renaissance Master
Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.
- A Question of Identity: Self-Portrait Photographs 1850-2000
- The Face of Monarchy
- Learn more
- Before Windrush: Images of Black and Asian Figures
- Photographic holdings - print and negative collections
- In Close Up: Laurence Olivier
- Centenaries and Centenarians
- The Royal Ballet at 75
- The World's Most Photographed
- Mirror Mirror: Self-portraits by women artists
- Britain 1960-1990
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints