Can you help locate Boty’s great lost work, “Scandal ’63”?

Pauline Boty by Michael Ward, 13 January 1964, on display at the National Portrait Gallery in 2020. © Michael Ward Archives / National Portrait Gallery, London

Friday’s Daily Telegraph included a piece by Jake Kerridge about how writer Tom Glover is asking its readers for their help in tracking down Boty’s great lost work Scandal ’63 which has remained unseen at large since its creation and only survives currently courtesy of photographs taken by Michael Ward. The large painting’s focus is Christine Keeler astride a chair against a vivid red background in a variation of the iconic shot taken by Boty’s friend Lewis Morley. Across the top are four of the male protagonists of the Profumo Affair: Aloysius ‘Lucky’ Gordon, John Profumo, Stephen Ward and Johnny Edgecombe.

As the work was commissioned Glover deems it unlikely to have been burned, thrown away or lost at the time and through the correspondence of gallerist Mateusz Grabowski (who featured Boty in exhibitions in 1963 and again in 1965) has ascertained that the surname of the individual who commissioned the work is Wright, but other than that has reached a dead end with his search.

The work can also be seen here in portraits of Boty by Michael Ward [link] and in an earlier incarnation by Lewis Morley [link]

The Daily Telegraph article is here [paywall] [link]

Should anyone reading this have any further information that they might like to share please contact info@paulineboty.org

“The Hidden Mod in Modern Art” with chapter on Pauline Boty and Bridget Riley is published on 13th October

“The Hidden Mod in Modern Art: London, 1957-1969” by Thomas Crow.

“The Hidden Mod in Modern Art: London, 1957-1969” by Thomas Crow looks into the considerable influence of the Mod subculture on key figures of the 1960s British art scene. One of its six chapters is devoted in its entirety to Pauline Boty and Bridget Riley, including a fascinating account of the former’s association with John Schlesinger and his films Billy Liar and Darling. The book is published by the Paul Mellon Centre.

Pauline Boty, photographed by Lewis Morley, 1963. Bromide print, 29.3 x 35.6 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London

From the Yale University Press website: “Bonding over matters of taste and style, the ‘Mods’ of late 1950s London recognised in one another shared affinities for Italian-style suits, tidy haircuts, espresso bars, Vespa scooters and the latest American jazz.
In this groundbreaking book, leading art historian Thomas Crow argues that the figure of the Mod exerted an influence beyond its assumed social boundaries by exemplifying the postwar metropolis in all of its excitement and complexity. Crow examines the works of key figures in the London art scene of the 1960s, including Robyn Denny, David Hockney, Pauline Boty, Bridget Riley and Bruce McLean, who shared and heightened aspects of this new and youthful urbanity.
The triumphant arrival of the international counterculture forced both young Mods and established artists to reassess and regroup in novel, revealing formations. Understanding the London Mod brings with it a needed, up-to-date reckoning with the legacies of Situationism, Social Art History and Cultural Studies.”

Imprint: Paul Mellon Centre 
Distribution: Yale University Press
Format: Hardback 
ISBN: 9781913107130
Dimensions: 241 x 165mm
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 140 colour + b-w illustrations
Price: £25