Sir John Rothenstein and Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa Gabor died recently. In September 1952 she visited the Tate as preparation for a film she was making about Toulouse-Lautrec, to be called “Moulin Rouge”. Her PR agents no doubt saw this as an opportunity to get some good publicity for her and for the film and they brought a cameraman. John Rothenstein, subject of my forthcoming book, was Director of the Tate at the time. He showed her round the Gallery and many photos were taken.

An article on the visit then appeared in the October edition of a not very highbrow magazine called “Illustrated”. All hell broke loose, with questions being asked in Parliament as to how the Tate could have been used in this way for an actress to promote herself. Even the Court was said to be not amused. The particular picture which generated this reaction showed the actress with one leg raised high off the ground and resting incongruously on the base of a statue by the Northern Irish sculptor, FE McWilliam.

All will be revealed in the book.