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

Pauline Boty with “Scandal ’63” by Michael Ward on display at the National Portrait Gallery

Pauline Boty by Michael Ward, 13 January 1964, C-type colour print

The portrait of Pauline Boty with her presumed lost work “Scandal ’63” is on display in “The UK 1960–Today” in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery.

“The display includes groups of portraits by particular artists, inviting the viewer to consider the range of contrasting approaches. While the challenge of depicting an observed sitter remained, a rich stylistic diversity characterises portraiture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

From the early 1960s the pace of social, political and artistic change in Britain gathered momentum. Food rationing ended only in 1954 and a growing affluence and a new mood of prosperity gave rise to increasing consumerism. Television, cinema, radio, advertising and magazines fuelled these changes by swiftly communicating the latest developments in fashion, design, music, science and the arts. But the optimism of the early 1960s was, by the end of the decade, replaced by a sense that the dream of progress had somehow slipped away. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s inequality in material wealth increasingly created new hierarchies and social tension.” [from the National Portrait Gallery website]

With thanks to Terence Pepper for the notification. More information on the portraits on display can be found here: [link]