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Scandal ’63: The 50th anniversary of the Profumo Affair

— May 2013

Associated media

Pauline Boty with her painting Scandal ’63. Photo by Michael Ward, 1964, © Michael Ward Archives / National Portrait Gallery, London

National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
30 April 2013 – 15 September 2013)

A display commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Profumo Affair has opened at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The British political scandal came to a head in 1963 and was named after John Profumo, the then Secretary of State for War. Profumo (married to the actress Valerie Hobson) had a brief affair with the nightclub hostess and model Christine Keeler who was also romantically involved with the senior Russian naval attaché Yevgeny Ivanov.

The infamous affair took place against the backdrop of the cold war and heightened political paranoia. The display features a rare vintage print of one of Lewis Morley’s iconic seated nude portraits of Christine Keeler as well as Stephen Ward’s pastel of her, made at Cliveden. Images of the other protagonists in the Profumo Affair are portrayed through photographs, magazines and ephemera from the period.


For more information see the National Portrait Gallery website.

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