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John Deakin

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John Deakin

by John Deakin, assisted by Patrick Matthews, or assisted by Tom Hawkyard
vintage bromide print, 14 November 1952
8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (202 mm x 192 mm) image size
Given by Mrs W.M. Matthews Will Trust, 2014
Primary Collection
NPG P1975

Sitterback to top

  • John Deakin (1912-1972), Photographer. Sitter in 10 portraits, Artist associated with 11 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • John Deakin (1912-1972), Photographer. Artist associated with 11 portraits, Sitter in 10 portraits.
  • Tom Hawkyard, Picture Editor, 'The Times'. Artist associated with 1 portrait, Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • Patrick Matthews (1914-1996), Photographer. Artist associated with 5 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This self-portrait shows Deakin in the Vogue studios in Shaftesbury Avenue, London. It is probably a test shot for a fashion shoot with the actress Kay Kendall a few days later, since it features the same set, composition, lighting and a similar pose. Deakin presents himself as a confident and serious man. The clarity, simplicity and directness as well as the strong contrast of the monochrome photograph are characteristic of his work.
1952 was a productive year for Deakin; besides fashion images, Vogue also
commissioned a six-page feature 'Painters and Pictures' for the February issue which included the artists Robert MacBryde,Keith Vaughan and John Minton.

Placesback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1952back to top

Current affairs

King George VI is found dead in his bed in Sandringham; he had been suffering from lung cancer. His daughter Elizabeth, who was in Kenya at the time, became Queen, the only monarch not to know the precise moment of her accession as her father was alone when he died. Elizabeth was crowned the following year.

Art and science

Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot is performed for the first time in Paris. The play belongs to the Theatre of the Absurd style, which influenced playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard.
Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap opens in London. It is still going.

International

Mau Mau rebels in Kenya rise up against the British colonial administration. The rebellion was sparked by the growing poverty of the native farmers under the rule of white settlers and called for Kenyan independence. The violence of the rebels, who often murdered settlers and loyalists, was met by the indiscriminate suppression by the British Military, who executed hundreds of suspects.

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