Famous in the Fifties: Photographs by Daniel Farson
Past display archive
19 March - 16 September 2012
Lucian Freud, Brendan Behan
by Daniel Farson
© estate of Daniel Farson
Daniel Farson’s multifaceted career as a Picture Post photographer, television presenter, writer and legendary Soho figure is celebrated with this showcase display.
The son of an English mother and the renowned American foreign correspondent, Negley Farson, Daniel Farson first became interested in photography working for the US Army’s Stars and Stripes magazine supplement. On display is an issue of Panorama, the magazine he established at Cambridge University, which helped Farson secure a job as a staff photographer for Picture Post.
Farson’s association with bohemia is demonstrated by intimate portraits of Lucian Freud and Brendan Behan and a group of writers shown with lifelong friend John Deakin, photographed in Soho, Farson’s haunt of many years.
A portrait of Adam Faith inscribed by Farson, ‘I put him on TV first’, illustrates Farson’s impact on television, presenting programmes including Out of Step (series, 1957) and Living for Kicks (1960). His portrait of Joan Littlewood is one of a group that relates to the theatre. In 1967 Littlewood produced Farson’s play about Marie Lloyd, a venture which followed his revival of music hall acts as the landlord of The Waterman’s Arms on the Isle of Dogs.
From 1964 Farson lived in Devon and became the author of 27 books. Four book jackets are shown alongside his portraits of those he wrote about including Graham Sutherland and Gilbert and George.
© National Portrait Gallery, London
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- Nina Hamnett (NPG P288)
- Richard Burton (NPG P293)
- Cyril Connolly; Lady Caroline Blackwood (NPG P290)
- Joan Littlewood (NPG P291)
- Somerset Maugham (NPG x46630)
- Somerset Maugham (NPG x46631)
- Brendan Behan (NPG x22186)
- Lucian Freud; Brendan Behan (NPG x22187)
- Robert Graves (NPG x25199)
- Graham Sutherland (NPG x135674)
- John Osborne (NPG x22192)
- Sir Kingsley Amis and family (NPG x135684)
- Shelagh Delaney (NPG x25201)
- Adam Faith (NPG x135678)
- Dame Barbara Windsor (née Deeks) (NPG x22194)
- Gilbert & George (NPG x135682)