15 of 73 portraits by Jane Bown
by Jane Bown
digital print, 1949
15 1/2 in. x 15 in. (395 mm x 380 mm) image size
Sitterback to top
- Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872-1970), Philosopher, mathematician and social reformer. Sitter in 119 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Jane Bown (1925-2014), Photographer. Artist associated with 73 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Jane Bown's sixty year career taking portraits for the Observer began with this portrait of Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell in 1949. The photograph was published in a profile of the philosopher, shortly before he participated in the first Reith lectures on BBC radio. Published in the Observer, 30 January 1949.
Events of 1949back to top
Current affairsFollowing the Republic of Ireland Act in 1948, the Irish Free State becomes the Republic of Ireland and leaves the Commonwealth. The functions previously given to the King were handed to the President of Ireland.
The Second Parliament Act diminishes the power of the House of Lords, reducing their authority to delay bills from two years to one.
Art and scienceGeorge Orwell publishes his dystopian novel, 1984. The book imagines a future where totalitarian governments rule; their power based on continual war abroad, and overwhelming propaganda and surveillance at home. With 'Big Brother' keeping a constant check on the citizens' actions and thoughts, the individual loses the faculties of free will and independent thought.
InternationalThe People's Republic of China is created after the Communist Party wins the Civil War. China became a communist country under Mao Zedong.
Cold War tensions increase as Germany is split into the democratic Federal Republic of Germany in the west (a union of the post-war British, French and American sectors), and the communist German Democratic Republic, in the east.