Cecil Harmsworth King
Cecil Harmsworth King
by Graham Sutherland
oil on canvas, 1969
36 1/4 in. x 28 3/4 in. (920 mm x 731 mm)
Bequeathed by the sitter's widow, Dame Ruth King, 2002
Sitterback to top
- Cecil Harmsworth King (1901-1987), Newspaper magnate and writer. Sitter in 10 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Graham Vivian Sutherland (1903-1980), Painter. Artist associated with 23 portraits, Sitter in 61 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was commissioned for the Board Room of IPC. But even as King sat for Sutherland, its fate was overtaken by events. For in 1968, King, convinced that the country under Harold Wilson was heading for financial disaster, proposed an emergency government under Lord Mountbatten. Advised by Solly Zuckerman that this would be treason, Mountbatten refused. After an inflammatory piece in the Mirror, King was dismissed by IPC and retired to Ireland with his second wife, Ruth Railton, the founder of the National Youth Orchestra. The portrait never hung in the Board Room and was given to the sitter by the incoming Chairman.
Events of 1969back to top
Current affairsThe Open University is established, based on the vision of Michael Young. Its aims were to offer the chance to study for higher education qualifications on a part time and distance learning basis, giving people who were unable to attend a traditional university because of family, work commitments or disability the opportunity to achieve university degrees.
Art and scienceThe comedy sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus is first broadcast. The Pythons performed surreal sketches that reinvented the comedy tradition, eschewing punch lines for a stream-of-consciousness structure and incongruous authorial interventions: 'and now for something completely different'.
Kenneth Tynan's Oh! Calcutta amuses and shocks audiences with full nudity on stage, taking advantage of the recent end to censorship laws.
InternationalNeil Armstrong takes 'one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind' when he becomes the first man on the moon.
Concorde makes its first supersonic flight. The plane was designed, developed and manufactured by a joint treaty between the French and English governments.