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John Lennon; Yoko Ono

13 of 74 portraits of John Lennon

John Lennon; Yoko Ono, by John Lennon, 1968 - NPG P1992 - © estate of John Lennon

© estate of John Lennon

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John Lennon; Yoko Ono

by John Lennon
bromide print, 1968
12 in. x 15 in. (305 mm x 380 mm) overall
Given by John Morton Morris, 2015
Primary Collection
NPG P1992

Sittersback to top

  • John Lennon (1940-1980), Musician; co-founder and singer for The Beatles. Sitter in 74 portraits, Artist of 2 portraits.
  • Yoko Ono (1933-), Artist; second wife of John Lennon. Sitter in 14 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • John Lennon (1940-1980), Musician; co-founder and singer for The Beatles. Artist of 2 portraits, Sitter in 74 portraits.

This portraitback to top

One of three black and white prints of a nude John Lennon and Yoko Ono taken by Lennon on a time-delay camera for the cover of Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968). (The full length front and back poses were used). Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968) was first of three experimental albums released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Apple Records and resulted from an all-night music session in Lennon’s home while his wife Cynthia was away in Greece. The cover image was taken in private in Ringo Starr's flat in Montagu Square. The evening following the photo shoot, John Lennon requested Jeremy Banks, who worked closely with Lennon as art director, to have the photographs secretly developed for use on the cover. Upon the album’s release in 1968, the images provoked such outrage that it was banned as obscene in some jurisdictions, and prompted distributors to cover it in a plain brown wrapper. The album's title came from the couple's feeling that they were ‘two innocents, lost in a world gone mad’, and because after making the recording the two consummated their relationship.

Placesback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1968back to top

Current affairs

Enoch Powell delivers his 'Rivers of Blood' speech in Birmingham in opposition to anti-discrimination legislation and immigration from the commonwealth. The speech is usually regarded as racist and blamed for stirring up racial prejudice. Powell was sacked from the shadow cabinet as a result, but received considerable public approval at the time for his views.
Fay Sislin becomes England first black woman police officer.

Art and science

Beaton Portraits is the first ever photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Under the directorship of Roy Strong, the exhibition introduced a new, theatrical approach to display, and was so popular that the national press reported on the length of queues to get in and it had to be extended twice.

International

Civil unrest escalates in France as student protesters, joined by striking workers, clash with the police. The events came to represent the conflict between the new, liberalised, left-wing generation and the forces of authority and conservatism. French protests were mirrored by others abroad including the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, where political liberalisation was achieved for a few months before the country was invaded by the Soviet Union.

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