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IIIF Actions
Lewis Morley, 1925–2013
Christine Keeler
1963, printed 1991
Materials & Techniques:
Gelatin silver print on semigloss photographic paper
Sheet: 19 7/8 × 16 inches (50.5 × 40.6 cm)

Inscribed in black ink, lower left: "46/50"; inscribed on verso in black ink, lower left to lower center: "Christine Keeler '63. Photography Lewis Morley. | Printed by Lewis Morley. | (Edition 1991)"; in red pencil, lower right: "LM, 2010, 55"

Blind embossed Lewis Morley studio mark

Signed in black ink, lower right: "Morley"; signed on verso in black ink, lower right: "Lewis Morley '99"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Dr. J. Patrick and Patricia Kennedy
Copyright Status:
© Estate of the Artist
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
chair | nude | plywood | portrait
Associated People:
Keeler, Christine (1942–), British model
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

Morley’s greatest success came in 1963 when he photographed an iconic image of Christine Keeler sitting astride an Arne Jacobsen-style chair. The image was the very last exposure on his roll of film and was captured in the immediate aftermath of the sensational resignation of the Secretary of State for War John Profumo after his extramarital affair with Keeler was exposed. It was revealed that Keeler was simultaneously in a sexual relationship with the Russian naval attaché Yevgeni Ivanov, thus raising the prospect that Russian intelligence had access to British secrets at the height of the Cold War. Morley’s celebrated image, which captured the spirit of the times, was used as a poster child for the movie Scandal (1989) and has been widely circulated.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

Lewis Morley studied painting in London and Paris in the early 1950s, but soon devoted himself to photography. Morley built a flourishing practice as a celebrity portraitist, capturing vivid likenesses of actors, artists, models, rock musicians, writers, and other public figures that were widely reproduced in magazines. Morley’s photographs vividly memorialize the exuberant culture of the “Swinging Sixties,” a period of radical cultural, social, and political transformation in Britain. In 1963, Morley took this iconic photograph of Christine Keeler sitting astride an Arne Jacobsen-style chair. Keeler had just made sensational headlines for her affair with John Profumo, a senior minister whose resignation shook the Conservative government. Although it was the very last shot Morley took during Keeler’s photo session, it became his most celebrated image. Only one vintage print exists and this photograph, which was included in a recent gift to the Center of nearly four hundred photographs by Morley, was printed by the photographer in 1991.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

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