© reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London
by Charles F. Slade
snapshot print enlargement, September 1909
6 1/8 in. x 4 3/8 in. (155 mm x 111 mm)
Given by Ewan Phillips, 1982
Sitterback to top
- Augustus Edwin John (1878-1961), Painter. Sitter in 103 portraits, Artist associated with 33 portraits.
This portraitback to top
John had been fascinated by gypsy culture since his childhood. His interest was developed by the Romany scholar John Sampson, whom John met while teaching art at Liverpool in 1901. John developed a bohemian gypsy style with a broad hat, gold earrings and unkempt beard. In 1909, he took to the road, travelling with his family from Surrey to Norfolk. This photograph was taken after John returned to the encampment after a period away painting the Lord Mayor of Liverpool. The caravan party were in a poor state with the horses dying off and the children ill with whooping cough. The family returned to London soon after.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rolley, Katrina; Aish, Caroline, Fashion in Photographs 1900-1920, 1992, p. 64
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- Augustus John: A Life in Portraits (26 July 2011 - 18 March 2012)
Events of 1909back to top
Current affairsThe American retailer Harry Gordon Selfridge opens the first British custom-built department store on what was then the 'dead end' of Oxford Street. The revolutionary complex, considered the world's largest at the time, transforms shopping, offering diverse amenities including a post office and a library, and modernises the visual face of retailing through innovative window displays.
Art and scienceThe Frenchman Louis Bleriot becomes the first person to cross the English channel by aeroplane, winning the £1,000 prize offered by the Daily Mail, and greeted by cheering crowds at Dover station. Bleriot's flight also showed that England was, as H.G. Wells put it, from a military point of view 'no longer an inaccessible island'.
In dance, Alexandre Benois becomes the first artistic director of Sergey Diaghilev's innovative Ballets Russes.
InternationalThe National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is founded in America to campaign for the rights of African Americans. One of the oldest and most influential civil rights movements, it was founded by a diverse group of individuals from mixed backgrounds, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Henry Moscowitz and William English Walling.
The Selig Polyscope company sets up the first film studio in Los Angeles.