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Iconic portrait heads home

Coming Home National Portrait Gallery - Paul Robeson display at Reading Museum- Part of Black History Month 2020

20 Oct 2020-12 Dec 2020

A portrait of the black civil rights pioneer, actor and musical virtuoso Paul Robeson is being displayed at Reading Museum for this year’s Black History Month, as part of a major project developed by London’s National Portrait Gallery. The COMING HOME project sees portraits of iconic individuals from the national Collection traveling to places associated with their subjects.

This year marks 60 years since Paul Robeson sang to a large and enthralled audience at Reading Town Hall; a legendary event in Reading’s cultural history arranged by the Reading and District Association for Peace. The bromide photographic print portrait by Neil Libbert shows Robeson in 1958, the year in which his political activism had forced Robeson to leave the United States and live in exile in the UK.