by Olive Muriel Cook
oil on board, circa 1954
42 in. x 30 1/8 in. (1068 mm x 765 mm)
Given by Lucy and Michael Archer, 2003
Sitterback to top
- Edwin Smith (1912-1971), Photographer, writer and painter. Sitter in 2 portraits, Artist of 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Olive Cook met Edwin Smith on the stairs of the house on Rosslyn Hill where they both lived, and they embarked on a seventeen-year partnership recording the architecture and popular art of Britain. The influence of Kurt Schwitters and Chagall is discernible in the apparent naivety of this portrait of Cook's husband known as The Anniversary. It is a record of a 'working partnership', a modern marriage portrait, domestic, intimate and affectionate.
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.