A retrospective exhibition displaying the works of esteemed photojournalist Jane Bown is on display at Proud Central, until 12 August.

Working within a male-dominated industry, Jane was a pioneer of the genre, capturing portraits of post-war Britain on assignments for The Observer.

Her career spanned six decades, documenting the austerity of the 1950s all the way to the rise of modern celebrity culture. The exhibition collection highlights Bown’s documentary and portraiture work, and includes a previously unseen photograph of the Beatles.


Although there are of course thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of images of the Fab Four, Bown’s shot is a particularly compelling images of the quartet.

Taken in Knole Park, Sevenoaks, it was shot during the filming of a promo for Penny Lane. Jane came across the band in the park by chance as she walked her dog. She returned to the house to get a camera, but only had colour cibachrome film. Kept on file by The Observer, it was never officially published.

Other famous subjects who can be seen in the exhibition include Mick Jagger, Sinéad O’Connor, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Samuel Beckett, and Björk. There’s also a wide array of documentary photography from a variety of events, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Torrey Canyon Disaster and the Women’s Liberation March of 1972.

Jane Bown: The Observer runs at Proud Central, until 12 August, for more details, visit the Proud Website.

© Jane Bown Estate

© Jane Bown Estate

© Jane Bown Estate

Samuel Beckett pictured leaving the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London, via the stage door, after rehearsals of ‘Happy Days’, as part of the Beckett season to celebrate his 70th birthday. ©Jane Bown Estate

The Beatles. Knole Park – filming promotional video for ‘Penny Lane’. ©Jane Bown

© Jane Bown