LONDON, ENGLAND – “Rollie McKenna: Portraits” will be at the National Portrait Gallery, March 1 through May 13, in the photography gallery.
McKenna is best known for her portraits of some of the most famous literary and artistic figures of the Twentieth Century, and perhaps most notably for her close friendship with Dylan Thomas, who was the subject of many of her photographs. This exhibition is the first museum retrospective of her work in England, and features 65 of her black and white portraits of British and American poets and artists from the 1950s to the 1980s including W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, John Minton, Truman Capote, Ezra Pound and Robert Frost.
Born in Texas in 1918, McKenna began her photographic career at the age of 30, when she purchased her first camera on a visit to Paris. Her travels in Europe and America and her work for Time and Life magazines as a researcher exposed her to the prominent literary and artistic circles of the time. Her interest in portrait photography came from taking pictures of London-based artists and writers for the Poetry Center in New York where she held her first solo exhibition.
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm, and late opening Thursday, Friday, 10 am to 9 pm.