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A series of compelling portraits including those of literary giants are on display in Cambridge University Library’s Entrance Hall, in their new artwork exhibition by the American photographer, Judith Aronson.

Likenesses explores the intimate relationship between photographer and subject. Presenting writers, actors and artists, the panorama is of literary and cultural genius, whether they be novelists, Saul Bellow and Salman Rushdie, or poets, Seamus Heaney and Rosanna Warren, or exemplars of the theatre, Ralph Richardson and Joan Plowright.

Judith Aronson’s subtle enquiring lens engages us with her sitters, and illuminates in turn their engagement with family, with partners, with the places in which they live and work. The conversation develops within Likenesses (Carcanet Press, 2010) as they all respond to one another not only in pictures but in words, in a chain of recollections, original contributions or happy retrievals. 

The pictures, taken over the course of thirty years in England and America (Cambridge here, and Cambridge there) gather Aronson’s work as a photojournalist and graphic designer, vividly capturing the cultural life of the age.

The exhibition is free and open to all and will be on display all year in Cambridge University Library’s Entrance Hall.

Likenesses (130 pages, 105 photographs) is on sale at the Reader Services Desk.