Friday, 19 October 2018

Black is the new Black

Portraits by Simon Frederick

Portraits by Simon Frederick

29 September 2018 - 27 January 2019
National Portrait Gallery London
 Room 33, Floor 1
Black is the New Black brings together exceptional figures from the world of politics, business, culture, religion and science to celebrate black British achievement today. Artist and director Simon Frederick photographed sitters ranging from Naomi Campbell, Sir Trevor McDonald and Thandie Newton to musician Jazzie B of Soul II Soul and footballer Les Ferdinand, to recognise the profound impact of black individuals on British culture. The portraits were made as part of Frederick’s acclaimed BBC Two documentary series of 2016 on black culture in modern Britain. This display celebrates their acquisition as the largest group of portraits of Afro-Caribbean sitters into the National Portrait Gallery’s Collection.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Black Tudors at NPG

On 18 October at the National Portrait Gallery in London  Dr. Miranda Kaufmann tells the intriguing tales of three Africans living in Tudor England – a diver employed by Henry VIII to recover guns from the wreck of the Mary Rose, a Moroccan woman baptized in Elizabethan London and a porter who whipped a fellow servant at their master's Gloucestershire manor house. Their stories shed light on key questions: how did they come to England? What were their lives like? How were they treated by the church and the law?
Tickets from NPG website
Miranda Kaufmann is author of Black Tudors, published by Oneworld in 2017 and shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018.  She is also author of the entry for trumpeter John Blanke (fl.1507-1512) in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Pre-Raphaelite Women re-viewed

as my book on the Legend of Elizabeth Siddal demonstrates, I've long been a fan of interpretations and re-imaginings of Pre-Raphaelite (hi)stories,
and here is the latest version with a large cast list of women as you've seldom seen them before.
PRE-RAPHAELITE GIRL GANG by Kirsty Stonell Walker of the Kissed Mouth BlogSpot contains capsule accounts of 50 individuals,  chronologically from Julia Cameron to Noel Laura Nisbet, alphabetically from Anna Blunden to Maria Zambaco, and arguably (even if Pre-Raphaelite is now an extremely baggy denotation) including Anna Lea Merritt and Lillie Langtry. 
You can test your knowledge by naming those in the re-visioned thumbnails above by Kingsley Nebechi, although only 30 are included in this sheet, no doubt owing to space issues - all 50 have comparable images within the book, together with 4 pages of text and images.  Graphic reinterpretations like this are a new[ish] departure, to add to the fictions and dramas and historical accounts.
I miss seeing Cathy Madox Brown and Becky Solomon, and you can probably add further candidates for the next collection.   I will add links to ordering the book as soon as