Scandal ’63 has opened in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery, marking the 50th anniversary of the Profumo Affair.
If you don’t know the story of the Profumo Affair, it’s something straight out of a spy thriller, save that it really happened. John Profumo was the Secretary of State for War and married to actress Valerie Hobson. However, he was also having a bit of a carry-on with Christine Keeler, a nightclub hostess and model who was also enjoying the attentions of senior Russian naval attaché, Yevgeny Ivanov. Being 1963, and the height of the Cold War, this was far from ideal for national security.
The NPG’s exhibition tells the story of the scandal, and how the national media helped to unravel it, using portraits, press images, magazines, and ephemera. And it wouldn’t be complete without at least one nude portrait of Keeler.
Scandal ’63 at the National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, LONDON, WC2H 0HE