An Icon Portrayed

Once again I have asked John Kirkwood to contribute to my blog:

 

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, National Portrait Gallery, London, until 18th October 2015

Audrey Hepburn by Antony Beauchamp, 1955 Copyright: Reserved

Audrey Hepburn by Antony Beauchamp, 1955
Copyright: Reserved

For admirers of Audrey Hepburn (and who isn’t?) this exhibition is a real treat featuring as it does many rarely seen images as well as classics we have all come to know.

Dance recital photograph by Manon van Suchtelen, 1942 Copyright: Reserved

Dance recital photograph by Manon van Suchtelen, 1942
Copyright: Reserved

It takes us from Audrey’s early years as a dancer at Ciro’s night club, which by strange coincidence was located on the very spot in Orange Street which now houses the Gallery’s Heinz Archive and Study Room, through her film career right up to her inspiring work for UNICEF.

Audrey Hepburn on location in Africa for The Nuns Story by Leo Fuchs, 1958 Copyright: Leo Fuchs

Audrey Hepburn on location in Africa for The Nuns Story by Leo Fuchs, 1958
Copyright: Leo Fuchs

I am sure that she would have been amazed and indeed puzzled by becoming a modern icon and wonder what all the fuss was about as she was one of the very  few film stars about whom you could say ‘what you see is what you get’.

Costume test for Sabrina, Paramount Pictures, 1953 Copyright: Reserved

Costume test for Sabrina, Paramount Pictures, 1953
Copyright: Reserved

Not long before her death she appeared at the Barbican reading from the diary of Anne Frank to music composed by Michael Tilson Thomas. A truly magical night but afterwards she was telling everyone how she had been shaking with nerves.  This from one of the biggest stars in the world!

Audrey Hepburn dressed in Givenchy with sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith by Douglas Kirkland, 1966 Copyright: Iconic Images/Douglas Kirkland

Audrey Hepburn dressed in Givenchy with sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith by Douglas Kirkland, 1966
Copyright: Iconic Images/Douglas Kirkland

Film star, fashion icon, humanitarian and loving mother, all aspects are covered in this truly wonderful exhibition devoted to one of the best-loved actresses of all time.

 

 

npg.org.uk/hepburn

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