James Hunkin: Faces of Science

Past display archive 
20 April - 15 September 2004

Room 38a


Supported by Deloitte
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These newly acquired photographs of prominent subjects drawn from the worlds of chemistry, earth science, engineering, life science, mathematics and physics were originally commissioned by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) for Science Year.

Hunkin photographed 100 scientists with the brief to make science attractive to a new generation of aspirational school children and students. A selection of his subjects appeared on a series of large format posters, which were then distributed to colleges. The choice of subjects range from well-established household names such as Nobel Prize winners Sir John Sulston and Sir Harold Kroto to emerging talents such as Jim Al-Khalili and Catherine MacDonald. Hunkin's approach was to photograph his subjects on location, mainly out of their laboratories, in appropriate settings that reflected their scientific interests.

Sir Harold Walter Kroto
by James F. Hunkin
August 2001
NPG x126338

Christopher J. Budd
by James F. Hunkin
October 2001
NPG x126341

John Boscawen Burland
by James F. Hunkin
May 2001
NPG x126342

Dame Ann Patricia Dowling
by James F. Hunkin
November 2000
NPG x126343

Wilson Che Kei Poon
by James F. Hunkin
October 2000
NPG x126356

Dame Julia Stretton Higgins
by James F. Hunkin
July 2001
NPG x126348

James F. Hunkin was born in Manchester in 1958 and is a self-taught photographer. He has been taking portrait photographs since 1987. Two of his major projects have resulted in important photographic monographs. Changing Faces: A Decade at the Royal National Theatre (1997) was the summation of six years photographing people involved with the theatre. His portraits in Faces of Faith (1997) reflected the contemporary state of multi-faith Britain. Hunkin's work was first acquired for the National Portrait Gallery's collection in 1991.

These photographs have been acquired with support from the Deloitte Acquisition Fund.