Christine Keeler  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Christine Margaret Keeler (22 February 1942 – 4 December 2017) was an English model and showgirl. Her meeting at a dance-club with society osteopath Stephen Ward drew her into fashionable circles. At the height of the Cold War, she became sexually involved with a married government minister, John Profumo, as well as a Soviet diplomat. A shooting incident between two of her other lovers caused the press to investigate her, revealing that her affairs could be threatening national security. In the House of Commons, Profumo denied any improper conduct but later admitted that he had lied. This incident discredited the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan in 1963 in what became known as the Profumo affair.

The Profumo Affair

In July 1961, Ward introduced her to John Profumo, the British Secretary of State for War, at a pool party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by Lord Astor. Profumo entered into an affair with Keeler, not realising that she was also sleeping with Yevgeny Ivanov, a naval attaché at the embassy of the Soviet Union.

The affair was terminated by the government’s Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman Brook, who spoke to Profumo on the advice of Sir Roger Hollis, the head of MI5. On 9 August 1961, Profumo wrote to Keeler advising her he could no longer see her.

In the 1989 film about the Profumo Affair entitled Scandal, actress Joanne Whalley portrayed Keeler.

Morley portrait

At the height of the Profumo affair in 1963, Keeler sat for a photographic portrait taken by Lewis Morley. The photo shoot, at a studio on the first floor of Peter Cook's Establishment Club, with Morley was to promote a proposed film, The Keeler Affair, that was never released in the United Kingdom. Keeler was reluctant to pose in the nude, but the film producers insisted. Morley persuaded Keeler to sit astride an imitation of a plywood chair, so that whilst technically she would be nude, the back of the chair would obscure most of her body.

The photo propelled Arne Jacobsen's model 3107 chair to prominence. The actual chair used was an imitation, with a hand-hold aperture cut out of the back to avoid copyright infringement. The chair used is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Christine Keeler" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools