The portraits of Jane Bown
Thanks for these reminders of Bown's incredible portraits. Early in my career I thought to myself that I'd know I'd 'made it' as a photographer when I get commissioned by The Observer to do a portrait shoot. The closest I've got so far is a portrait on the cover of The Guardian's occasional literature supplement. I'm patient though...
Great stuff — the Beckett one is extraordinary. Thanks Andrew!
Lovely insights into the work of one of my favourite portrait photographers. Thanks!
Great post and collection of her work! Years ago I read a story about her shoot with Queen Elizabeth II—in one of Annie Leibovitz's books, I think. Apparently she showed up alone and asked the Queen to help her move the furniture for the shoot. I just love that story, and I'd never seen this image of her! Thanks!
Great post Andrew of a wonderful photographer. You and I already discussed in the past the visit I made to the Guardian/Observer offices to see the 2007/2008 exhibition ‘Unknown Bown’ - her portraits are beautiful but my favourite of hers is ‘Southend-on-sea’ from 1954 and to quote the Guardian “A classic early shot by Jane, in which a moment of great tenderness is captured surreptitiously from behind.”
First time learning about Jane Bown! Thanks for sharing. I am inspired by the phrase “some people take pictures, I find them”.
This is a new study for me, thank you for sharing. Goes to show what you can do with minimal equipment and a purpose.
Thanks, Andrew, now I know the origin of the quote. The Björk and Sinead ones - captured something invisible.
Wonderful portrait! Thank you for sharing! Great read!
What an absolute delight, Andrew. Thank you. I first came across Jane Bown in an exhibition of her work at the National Portrait Gallery and was blown away. The book we purchased at the time - sometime in the mid '80s - was poured over and lent out multiple times as I enthused about Jane's extraordinary eye... and eventually the last person (I can't remember who) never returned the book, and it has left a visceral hole ever since.
What a portfolio! The smouldering intensity of the Beckett headshot in particular bares a tortured soul.
I’ve seen and loved so many of these separately over the years but had no idea who they came from, thank you for this enlightening post !
Queen Elizabeth from Jane's eye sees the essence of her Soul ~ beautiful. Although it took her four rolls of film to show us the essence of Margaret Thatcher; she did it! Thank you, Andrew for introducing her work to us.
Except for the Queen, they’re all portraying her… Not easy to get the unportrayable Cartier-Bresson. Another discovery for me 😉
A new one for me. Cheers fella. Will be diving into more of her photos when I have a moment. The photograph of Bjork is perfection.
Haha I was reading down and wondering what the tag would be and what a lovely surprise! Love this picture of Chatwin, don’t think I’ve ever seen it before in all the many hours I’ve spent reading about him 😅😅