by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1958
9 1/2 in. x 8 1/8 in. (240 mm x 207 mm)
Given by Sir Cecil Beaton, 1969
Sitterback to top
- Victoria Mary ('Vita') Sackville-West (1892-1962), Writer and gardener; wife of Sir Harold Nicolson. Sitter associated with 29 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Artist or producer associated with 1112 portraits, Sitter associated with 361 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Faces of the Century, 1999 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 22 October 1999 to 30 January 2000), p. 92
- Bennett, Sue, Five Centuries of Women and Gardens, 2000 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 October 2000 to 21 January 2001), p. 147
Events of 1958back to top
Current affairsBritain's first motorway is built. The Preston bypass (M6) was the first road to be built to official motorway standards, although the M1 (opened in 1959) was the first road to be given official status. The road was opened by the Prime minister, Harold Macmillan, and heralded a new age of mass, high-speed motoring.
Art and scienceMichael Bond publishes A Bear Called Paddington, the first Paddington Bear book. This popular character is remembered for being found at Paddington Station by the Brown family, for wearing a floppy hat, duffle coat and Wellington boots, and for his penchant for marmalade sandwiches.
The children's television programme, Blue Peter, is broadcast for the first time.
InternationalFollowing the USSR's successful launch of the Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957, America launches its own space agency, NASA. Under pressure from the Soviets' early lead, NASA began research into human spaceflight. The competition between the two superpowers to explore outer space, send humans beyond the Earth's orbit and land on the moon was known as the 'space race'.
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