Charlie Chaplin on-set for 'The Pilgrim'

Charlie Chaplin on-set for 'The Pilgrim', by James Abbe, 1922 - NPG x138888 - © estate of James Abbe

© estate of James Abbe

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Charlie Chaplin on-set for 'The Pilgrim'

by James Abbe
vintage bromide print, 1922
9 5/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (245 mm x 190 mm) overall
Given by Terence Pepper, 2014
Photographs Collection
NPG x138888

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • James Abbe (1883-1973), American photographer. Artist associated with 12 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Sir Charles ‘Charlie’ Chaplin is seen here on set for the film, The Pilgrim (1923), in which he played an escaped convict who steals a priest’s clothes and is mistaken for the new minister of a Wild West town. In this portrait, American photographer James Abbe directed Chaplin in a studio session on the film set, pioneering a new genre of portraiture. Abbe recorded: ‘Charlie had probably been in a new mood the night he got into his off-beat clerical ‘Pilgrim’ garb and make-up; he left every pose to me. He responded so rapidly I used up the 24 8x10 films of my 24 film holders within 45 minutes.’

Linked publicationsback to top

Placesback to top

  • Place made and portrayed: United States (film set of 'The Pilgrim', United States)

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1922back to top

Current affairs

The British Broadcasting Company (later British Broadcasting Corporation) is established to experiment with radio broadcasting. It is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world, providing radio, television and Internet services to the public in Britain and across the world.

Art and science

1922 is a key year for modernist literature with the publication of James Joyce's novel, Ulysses and T.S. Eliot's poem, The Waste Land. Both broke new ground with Ulysses (loosely based on Homer's Odyssey) introducing the 'stream of consciousness' narrative technique, and The Waste Land experimenting with multiple voices and a patchwork of literary, historic, mythological and personal allusions.


The Soviet Union is formed under Joseph Stalin who takes power after Lenin suffers a debilitating stroke.
In an attempt to avoid civil war, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy invites Benito Mussolini to form a new government following the Fascist Party's March on Rome.

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