An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill wearing his signature “siren suit” on the White House grounds in January 1942, accompanied by FDR’s dog and the daughter of presidential advisor Harry Hopkins
An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill wearing his signature “siren suit” on the White House grounds in January 1942, accompanied by FDR’s dog and the daughter of presidential advisor Harry Hopkins

An original wartime press photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill wearing his signature “siren suit” on the White House grounds in January 1942, accompanied by FDR’s dog and the daughter of presidential advisor Harry Hopkins

London: The 'Topical' Press Agency, 14 February 1942. Photograph. This original press photograph captures Sir Winston S. Churchill, cigar in hand, on the grounds of the White House in January 1942 dressed in his signature "siren suit" and accompanied by Diana Hopkins, daughter of FDR's confidante and advisor Harry Hopkins, and Falla, FDR’s Scottie dog. The gelatin silver print on glossy photo paper measures 8.25 x 6 inches (20.9 x 15.2 cm). Condition is very good. The paper is crisp and clean with some edge wear confined to the margins and some scuffing visible only under raking light. This press photo once belonged to the working archives of The Daily Telegraph. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “The ‘Topical’ Press Agency” (below the caption paper), a received stamp from The Daily Telegraph dated 18 FEB 1942, and a typed caption. The caption is titled “CHURCHILL IN FASHION” and reads, “An unpublished photograph just received from America of Mr. Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister, wearing the siren suit which caused such a stir in sartorial circles during his visit to the U.S. He is seen here in the grounds of the White House, posed with Diana Hopkins, youthful daughter of Harry Hopkins. Diana is holding Falla, President Roosevelt’s Scottie.” This is a vintage press photo of Winston Churchill on the grounds of the White House in January, 1942. It is a remarkably gentle and indirect testimony to the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill - one of history’s most important and world-defining relationships between political leaders. 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. In the days after the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States formally entered the Second World War, marking the end of Britain's solitary stand against Hitler's Germany, which it had sustained since the fall of France. To cement and sustain the alliance Churchill had done so much to cultivate, Churchill immediately decided to travel to the United States. On December 12, 1941 he boarded the battleship Duke of York and began the 10-day trip across the Atlantic - a perilous journey at a time when German U-Boats plagued the North Atlantic. Churchill addressed the U.S. Congress on the 26th and the Canadian Parliament on the 30th. Churchill remained in Washington until 14 January 1942. Upon his return to England he reported to the War Cabinet, “The United States Administration were tackling war problems with the greatest vigour, and were clearly resolved not to be diverted from using all the resources of their country to the utmost to crush Hitler, our major enemy.” This effort, culminating in Germany's unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945, would cost Roosevelt the rest of his life and be followed swiftly by the end of Churchill’s first premiership. 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, 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 #005214

Price: $160.00