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Illuminating women: Photographs by Mayotte Magnus

Illuminating women: Photographs by Mayotte Magnus

Illuminating women: Photographs by Mayotte Magnus

Past display archive
8 September 2018 - 7 April 2019

Room 32, Floor 1


Marina Warner
by Mayotte Magnus
NPG x138831

In 1977, the National Portrait Gallery staged a landmark exhibition, featuring nearly ninety portraits of eminent British women photographed by Mayotte Magnus. It was the first photographic exhibition in the Gallery’s history to focus exclusively on female achievement. In September, a new display will revisit a selection of key portraits from Magnus’s 1977 exhibition, alongside more recent acquisitions. The portraits were taken in the sitter’s homes or place of work, and are rich in narrative and composition. The display celebrates a range of creative women, including artists Liliane Lijn and Glenys Barton, authors Marina Warner and Margaret Drabble, actresses Glenda Jackson and Judi Dench and Nobel Prize recipient Nadine Gordimer.

Related Resources

Photographer in Focus
Mayotte Magnus in the Collection
1977 Mayotte Magnus: Photographs of Women exhibition
Mayotte Magnus website
Photographs Collection: displays

Mayotte Magnus Photographer – A Snapshot of an Artist

By Bob Scholes 2018

The making of this video coincided with the hanging of the display Illuminating Women: Photographs by Mayotte Magnus at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The biographical film looks at how Magnus began a career in photography, the techniques she has used, significantly in making portraits, and her life in France and the UK.