An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill in his signature "siren suit" working at his desk at 10 Downing Street in September 1942. Augustus Charles Cooper.
An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill in his signature "siren suit" working at his desk at 10 Downing Street in September 1942

An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill in his signature "siren suit" working at his desk at 10 Downing Street in September 1942

London: Augustus Charles Cooper F.R.P.S, 1942. Photograph. This original press photo captures Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill in his signature "siren suit" working at his desk at 10 Downing Street in September 1942. The gelatin silver print on heavy matte photo paper measures 7.75 x 6 inches (19.6 x 15.2 cm). Condition is very good. The paper is crisp, clean, and free of scratches with only some light bumping to the corners. The verso bears the studio copyright stamp of “A. C. Cooper, F.R.P.S.”, a received stamp of The Daily Telegraph dated MAY 1956, and a typed caption reading, “Mr. Churchill in his siren suit, working at his desk in Downing Street.” This photograph is from the studio of Augustus Charles Cooper (1873-1960), a photographer whose studio, opened in 1918, is still in operation to this day. The National Portrait Gallery, which includes in its collection a number of prints from this sitting, indicates that “This is one of a set of ten photographs of Churchill taken from various angles as an aid to the sculptor, Sir William Reid Dick, in producing his bust of Churchill in September 1942.” Interestingly, though this image is certainly from the same sitting, the photographs held by the National Portrait Gallery do not include this particular shot. When Churchill became Prime Minister, the war for Britain was not so much a struggle for victory as a struggle to survive. Churchill’s first year in office saw, among other near-calamities, the Battle of the Atlantic, the fall of France, evacuation at Dunkirk, and the Battle of Britain. By mid-1942, he was able to say "We have reached a period in the war when it would be premature to say that we have topped the ridge, but now we see the ridge ahead.” (speech of 16 May 1942) By November Alexander’s and Montgomery’s victories at El Alamein prompted Churchill to declare, “Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” This press photo was once a part of the working archives of The Daily Telegraph. During the first half of the twentieth century, photojournalism grew as a practice, fundamentally changing the way the public interacted with current events. Newspapers assembled expansive archives, including physical copies of all photographs published or deemed useful for potential future use, their versos typically marked with ink stamps and notes providing provenance and captions. Photo departments would often take brush, paint, pencil, and marker to the surface of photographs themselves to edit them before publication. Today these photographs exist as repositories of historical memory, technological artifacts, and often striking pieces of vernacular art. Item #005209

Price: $200.00

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