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Brown, Jane

Jane Hope Bown (1925 – 2014) was an English photographer who worked for The Observer
newspaper from 1949. Bown first worked as a chart corrector with the WRNS, which included a role
in plotting the D-Day invasion, and this employment entitled her to an education grant. She choose to

study photography, and began her carrier as a wedding portrait photographer. In 1951, her former
teacher Ifor Thomas put her in touch with a picture editor at The Observer who showed her portfolio to Editor David Astor. He again immediately commissioned her to photograph the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Bown worked primarily in black-and-white and preferred to use available light. Until the early 1960s, she worked primarily with a Rolleiflex camera. Subsequently Bown used a 35mm Pentax SLR, before settling on the Olympus OM-1 camera, often using an 85mm lens. Paying tribute to her work, Lord Snowdon in 2014 described her as "a kind of English Cartier-Bresson" [….]. She doesn't rely on tricks or gimmicks, just simple, honest recording, but with a shrewd and intellectual eye."

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