London: The Associated Press Ltd., August 1961. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill from 1961, tipping his hat as he is driven away. This image measures 9.5 x 11.5 in (24.1 x 29.3 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is very good. An unidentified woman's face is visible as a car window reflection superimposed on the crown of Churchill's hat. The image is crisp and free of scuffing with only some light wear along the edges and creasing to the left corners. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “The Associated Press Ltd.”, a purple received stamp of The Daily Telegraph from August 1961, and the remnants of a typed caption.
This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph’s working archive. 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.
This original press photograph was taken in the twilight of Churchill’s remarkable life and career. Winston S. Churchill was 80 years old when he resigned his second and final premiership on 5 April 1955. For the last decade of his long life, Churchill passed "into a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served. The day after Churchill died, on 25 January 1965, the Queen sent a message to Parliament announcing: "Confident in the support of Parliament for the due acknowledgement of our debt of gratitude and in thanksgiving for the life and example of a national hero" and concluded "I have directed that Sir Winston's body shall lie in State in Westminster Hall and that thereafter the funeral service shall be held in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.” Churchill's state funeral was attended by the Queen herself, other members of the royal family, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner’s funeral. Item #005364