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Portrait of First British Woman to win Nobel Prize added to National Portrait Gallery Collection February 21, 2012

Posted by The Raise Project in Uncategorized.

Posted by Katy Cowan in News on Tuesday 14th February 2012. Tagged with Photography, national portrait, somerset.

Two years after Somerset-based photographers Anita Corbin and John O’Grady of Corbin O’Grady Studio saw 11 of their portraits on display at the prestigious National Portrait Gallery; Anita and John will now see another of their portraits depicting famous British scientists join the gallery’s Photographs Collection.

Professor Dorothy Hodgkin was the First and only British Woman ever to have won a Nobel Prize for science, for her work on vitamins, Among her most influential discoveries were the confirmation of the structures of penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin, and she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1964).

Ludmilla Jordanova, who retired as a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery in November 2010, comments, “The inclusion of a female scientist in this archival collection is important both historically and as a role model for women who are keen to take up a career in science and so when the Corbin O’Grady Studio made the portrait available I was very pleased to be able to help purchase it for the Gallery.

“The photographers have given careful thought to the visual idioms that are most appropriate for their subjects. In making their choices about angles, poses and settings, the photographers are providing everyone who sees these works with ideas that can prompt them to ask questions about science today.”

Anita Corbin explains how the portraits came about, “The colour portraits were taken in 1989 for the series “Science in Profile” commissioned by The British Council. The pictures were taken by my partner John O’Grady and me over a three month period. There were 24 in total and the resulting set of portraits was exhibited in the early nineties all over the world but never in Britain. The large colour prints now form part of the Photographs Collection at The National Portrait Gallery.”

There is another reason for Anita’s delight at the inclusion of Dorothy Hodgkin among the male scientists; Anita is now working on another significant project appropriately called First Women and looking at how women will be remembered over the past 100 years. In the years leading up to 2018, the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, Anita is shooting and collecting 100 iconic portraits of 21st century women who have achieved the landmark title “First Woman” across a range of fields.

In 2018 Anita will launch the First Women travelling exhibition throughout the UK in celebration of 20th and 21st century women. The exhibition will feature three types of photography: portraiture, documentary and archive and will be linked to an interactive website as well as the publication of a beautiful photographic book. Each unique portrait will feature extended captions and introductory essays.

Original article can be viewed



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