The Photographs of Jane Bown Private faces in public places Are wiser and nicer Than public faces in private places.
October 20, 2003 4:09 AM   Subscribe

Public Faces In Private Places may not be as wise or nice as private faces in public faces but, in the case of Jane Bown's portraits, I'm sure even W.H. Auden would have gladly opened an exception. It's an outstanding collection and it's fun to identify the faces, as their names only appear when you click to enlarge them. (It's a pity the photographs in the first link are so tiny, but blowing them up only makes it worse. )
posted by MiguelCardoso (2 comments total)
Nice collection indeed Miguel - thanks! I really like this portrait of Samuel Beckett.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:08 AM on October 20, 2003

madam, there's a anecdote about that photo in this interesting Jane Brown profile:

It was while Jane was working with Michael Davie, however, that she took her two most famous pictures, those of John Betjeman and Samuel Beckett. The Betjeman shot of 1972, showing him roaring with laughter on the edge of a cliff, was, she says, ‘one of those sudden miracles, that just happen'. The Beckett portrait, in one account, sounds like another one. It was 1976 and Davie and she had been sent to the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square where Billie Whitelaw was appearing in 'Happy Days'. 'I was,' says Davie, 'hanging about at the back picking up what I could, when I realised Jane had vanished. She had disappeared round the back and caught Beckett coming out of the stage door. I doubt if she exchanged a word with him or took more than one shot. I can only assume the Good Lord told her he would be there at that moment because no one else did.' Jane, who likes accuracy, remembers it differently: she told Beckett there had been the promise of a picture session and took three pictures, printing the middle one. As for finding him, he had just finished rehearsals and had to be going somewhere, 'I used my noodle.'

(The Betjeman photo is included in the 1972 photos in the first link - it is great.)
posted by taz at 11:05 AM on October 20, 2003

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