Sir Isaiah Berlin 1987 © Copyright Mariana Cook
Wolfson College Portraits

The renowned American fine art photographer Mariana Cook, whose photographs of people and landscapes are held in many private and museum collections all over the world and published in ten books, who works in black-and-white film and makes gelatin silver prints, and whose portraits are famous for catching the essential identity of her subjects, is bringing a collection of fifteen of her recent portraits to Wolfson College.
This is a unique show, a world premiere by a famous and distinguished artist, which has a special meaning for the College. We are remarkably privileged to have made this connection with Mariana Cook, and very excited to be showing her new collection of portraits. Mariana’s Wolfson portraits include images of the first, and the current, Presidents of the College, Isaiah Berlin and Hermione Lee. There are remarkable portraits of the world-famous scientists Marcus du Sautoy and Raymond Pierrehumbert, the philosopher Antony Appiah, the pianist Alfred Brendel, the classicist Mary Beard, the historian Roy Foster, the lawyer and head of Mansfield College, Helena Kennedy, and the ex-President of Ireland and UN Commissioner Mary Robinson. All these outstanding figures have links to Wolfson either as past Berlin, Haldane and Syme Lecturers, or as Honorary Fellows of the College, or because they have given major speeches and lectures at Wolfson. The show also includes portraits of the Wolfson College architect and Honorary Fellow, Alan Berman, the novelist Michèle Roberts and the literary writer and academic Alexandra Harris, both of whom have lectured at Wolfson and are supporters of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson, and the poet Simon Armitage, Oxford Professor of Poetry, Honorary Common Room Member of Wolfson, and judge of the Jon Stallworthy Poetry Prize. It also features a portrait of John Barnard, Honorary Fellow of Wolfson, which will be first seen in this exhibition before taking its place with the other portraits of the College Presidents’ spouses.
Mariana Cook's website Exhibition runs from the 26 May – 31 December 2017

  • Isaiah Berlin, 1987 © Mariana Cook
  • Mary Beard, 2016 © Mariana Cook
  • Roy Foster, 2017 © Mariana Cook
Mary Beard 2016 and Roy Foster 2017 © Copyright Mariana Cook