An original press photograph of Leader of the Opposition Winston S. Churchill leaving his Hyde Park Gate home for Parliament on 20 January 1948
An original press photograph of Leader of the Opposition Winston S. Churchill leaving his Hyde Park Gate home for Parliament on 20 January 1948

An original press photograph of Leader of the Opposition Winston S. Churchill leaving his Hyde Park Gate home for Parliament on 20 January 1948

London: The Associated Press, 20 January 1948. Photograph. This original press photograph captures Winston S. Churchill on 20 January 1948 smiling outside of his Hyde Park Gate home en route to the reassembly of Parliament after the Christmas recess. The gelatin silver print on heavy matte photo paper measures 12 x 7.5 in (30.5 x 19 cm). Condition is very good minus. The paper is clean, crisp, and free of scratches with some fraying to the top and bottom edges, a crease on the upper left corner, and a horizontal bruise to the surface running through Churchill’s hat. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “The Associated Press”, a received stamp dated 20 January 1948, and a typed caption reading, “WINSTON CHURCHILL, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, IS SEEN LEAVING HIS HOME AT HYDE PARK GATE, LONDON, THIS AFTERNOON, JAN. 20 FOR THE REASSEMBLY OF PARLIAMENT AFTER THE CHRISTMAS RECESS.” This is a charming three-quarter-length image of Churchill, a sparkle evident in his countenance and the inevitable cigar in his hand. Churchill, having done so much to win the war, faced frustration of his postwar plans when his wartime government fell to Labour in the General Election on 26 July 1945. He would be relegated to Leader of the Opposition for more than six years until the October 1951 General Election, when Churchill’s Conservatives outpaced Labour, returning Churchill to 10 Downing Street for his second and final premiership. Churchill spent the Christmas break and first weeks of 1948 in Marrakech where he wrote, painted, and fell ill with bronchitis to the distress of his family and the fascinated attention of the English press. This photograph was taken the day after his return to London when his only response to the waiting journalists’ questions about his health was “I am quite well”. It requires no leap of imagination to correlate the laconic quip with the expression on Churchill’s face in this image. This press photo originated with the Photographic News Agency, Ltd. 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. Few of the 20th century’s statesmen lent themselves to the medium with such photogenic alacrity as Winston Churchill. Item #005332

Price: $140.00

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