(William) Kenneth Armitage
(William) Kenneth Armitage
by Ida Kar
quarter-plate film negative, 1954
Artistback to top
- Ida Kar (1908-1974), Photographer. Artist associated with 1564 portraits, Sitter in 137 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Kar photographed Armitage at his flat in Earls Court, with Linked Figures (1949), modelled with plaster over netting, and Standing Group 2 (1952), one of his screen-like groups. Around this time he developed his style of abstraction based on a simplification of human form. Armitage wrote to Kar regarding her Gallery One show: 'I'm sure your exhibition will prove a real success.'
Linked publicationsback to top
- Freestone, Clare (appreciation) Wright, Karen (appreciation), Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 March to 19 June 2011), p. 66 Read entry
Armitage was born in Leeds, where he studied at the College of Art before attending the Slade School of Fine Art in London (1937-9). After serving in the army during the Second World War, he was appointed Head of Sculpture at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, a post he held for ten years. Kar photographed Armitage at his Earls Court flat, with Linked Figures (1949), modelled with plaster over netting, and Standing Group 2 (1952), one of his screen-like groups. Around this time Armitage developed his style of abstraction based n a simplification of the human form. Armitage was included in the influential exhibition New Aspects of British Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1952, and in 1958 was selected for the Biennale's David E. Bright Prize for a sculptor under the age of forty-five. Armitage wrote to Kar regarding her Gallery One show: 'I'm sure our exhibition will prove a real success.'
Placesback to top
- Place made and portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, Earls Court, London)
Events of 1954back to top
Current affairsRoger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.
Art and scienceJ.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.
InternationalThe South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) is established in Bangkok. This international defence organisation was established as part of the 'containment' policy of limiting the influence of communism. SEATO was, however, found to be ineffective as the member organisations failed to agree on combined action; it was disbanded in 1977.
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.
- Mad, Bad and Dangerous: The Cult of Lord Byron
- Mirror Mirror: Self-portraits by women artists
- Private View
- Benjamin's Britain
- Centenaries and Centenarians
- Artists in Close-Up
- Photographic holdings - print and negative collections
- Learn more
- Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer, 1908-1974
- Surreal and Solarised Photographs
- Ida Kar in Cuba
- Blow Up: Sixties Photography Exposed
- Women's History Month
- Photographs 1965-2006
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints