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Portraits of literary giants feature in a new photography exhibition at Cambridge University Library

29 January, 2015

Images: C Judith Aronson

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.

Other News

Cambridge University Library's unique WW2 collection goes on display in New York

23 January, 2015

A unique collection of literary works that were published following the German retreat from French soil held by Cambridge University Library (UL) is now on public display in New York’s Grolier Club, America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts.


Former Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library awarded Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

12 January, 2015

The Queen has approved the award of Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for the year 2014 to Imtiaz Dharker, a former Poet in Residence at Cambridge University Library.


'Crown jewels' of English lute music go online on Cambridge Digital Library

11 December, 2014

Handwritten copies of scores by composers of English lute music have been digitised in a programme to make a precious legacy available to professional and amateur musicians around the world.


Winners announced for Cambridge University Library landscape design competition

09 December, 2014

Cambridge University Library and the Department of Architecture are delighted to reveal the prize winners of a design competition to attract bold re-imaginings of the open spaces and environment of the iconic Giles Gilbert Scott building.


The evolution of Darwin's Origin: Cambridge releases 12,000 papers online

24 November, 2014

The origins of Darwin’s theory of evolution – including the pages where he first coins and commits to paper the term ‘natural selection’ - are being made freely available online today in one of the most significant releases of Darwin material in history.


University Library welcomes visit from Commonwealth Essay Competition winners

21 November, 2014

The winners and runners-up of the world’s oldest international schools’ writing contest, the Commonwealth Essay Competition, visited the University Library Royal Commonwealth Society collections during a week-long visit to the UK that included a special award ceremony at Buckingham Palace.


Private Lives of Print: exhibition to celebrate early printed books

23 October, 2014

A unique copy of the Gutenberg Bible – Europe’s first printed book using moveable type – is to go on display in a spectacular exhibition charting how books were simultaneously cherished and embellished, mistreated and even vandalised in the first century of the printed age.


Cambridge Festival of Ideas now on!

20 October, 2014

Cambridge University Library is once again taking part in the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, which offers a series of engaging and thought-provoking events that celebrate the arts, humanities and social sciences.


Uncovering the text of the New Testament

12 September, 2014

A £1.1m campaign by Cambridge University Library to secure one of the most important New Testament manuscripts – the seventh-century Codex Zacynthius – has been a success.


Shortlist revealed for Library landscape design competition

12 September, 2014

The University Library and the Department of Architecture have revealed the shortlist for a design competition to attract bold re-imaginings of the open spaces and environment of the iconic Giles Gilbert Scott building.


Sassoon's War Journals Released Online

31 July, 2014

Siegfried Sassoon’s First World War diaries – some bearing traces of mud from the Somme – are among 4,100 pages from his personal archive being made freely available online from today, almost 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany.


80-year old photograph albums throw light on the building of the iconic University Library

29 July, 2014

Photographic albums uncovered at the University Library (UL) offer a unique view of the huge removal job which 80 years ago this week saw one million items successfully moved to their new home.


Heavens above

28 May, 2014

A 600-year-old astronomical document is now moving into the modern era, with a symposium at the Whipple Museum to mark its digitisation.


Stanley Sadie Archive Project

19 May, 2014

Cambridge University Library is delighted to have received the Stanley Sadie Archive as a gift from his widow Julie Anne.


Literature of the Liberation: Cambridge exhibition a world first

06 May, 2014

Seventy years after Hitler’s soldiers were driven from Paris, Cambridge University Library is staging the first-ever exhibition to examine the outpouring of literary works that followed the German retreat from French soil.


From text to texting: 10th century Greek manuscript is brought into the digital age

27 March, 2014

A tenth century Greek manuscript, one of the latest additions to the Digital Library, shows how the transmission and reinterpretation of written knowledge over the centuries still continues in today’s digital age.


Conquering a continent: How the French language circulated in Britain and medieval Europe

22 January, 2014

A 13th-century manuscript of Arthurian legend once owned by the Knights Templar is one of the star attractions of a new exhibition opening at Cambridge University Library today (January 22).