The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Photograph of the Month - November 2009

Past display archive
1 November - 30 November 2009

Room 39

Free

Shirley Bassey
by Mary McCartney
August 2009
NPG x133093

Singer and entertainer. Bassey was born in Tiger Bay, Cardiff. Her musical career was launched in 1957 with the Banana Boat Song. Bassey's 50 year career has included over 30 hit singles, 33 hit albums, and title songs to the James Bond films Goldfinger (1964) and Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Bassey was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1999. This portrait was commissioned for the cover of The Performance, Bassey's first album of original material in 20 years, released on 9 November 2009. Produced by Bond composer David Arnold, the album includes songs written by Gary Barlow, Pet Shop Boys, Rufus Wainwright, KT Tunstall and Manic Street Preachers.

McCartney started her photographic career in 1995. Her assignments have included editorial work for Harpers Bazaar and Interview, and advertising campaigns for Stella McCartney, Adidas, and Aga. Mary McCartney's most recent exhibition ‘British Style Observed' was exhibited at The Natural History Museum in September 2008.

Previous Photographs of the Month

Listen

Pioneer Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.

Explore the podcasts

Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston Playlist

William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.

Listen to the playlist

Archive interviews

Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.

Watch, listen and read