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By Paul Dunwell, writing for EasyFrame
© Copyright EasyFrame 2019

What This Article is About

We all look for inspiration, and with that in mind you can’t go far wrong with a great photo of somebody who oozes capability. So here I’ve put together a collection of what I consider to be the 10 greatest-ever images of icons who, if they’re on our walls, can serve as a constant reminder (to us or those we’d like to enlighten) that we can do better.

You can get hold of all of these unframed. And then, of course, you can go to EasyFrame to get them put into frames that suit your home, your décor and your ambiance!

Even if you choose not to go with any of these, they might spark some ideas. And the stories behind the photographs are all fascinating!

Che Guevara
Item: No 1 of 10
Title: Che Guevara – for the budding revolutionary
Description: Alberto Korda took this iconic photo of the Cuban revolutionary in 1960 when he was meeting Fidel Castro. Yet the picture was only published 7 years later at the age of 39 when Guevara had parted with Castro but then was captured and executed by US-backed Bolivian forces who cut off his hands as proof of his demise and buried him in an unmarked grave. Guevara was himself privileged and held a degree in medicine, but he championed the underprivileged and fought American influence in Latin America. He was exhumed and reburied as a hero who symbolised the fight against social injustice and imperialism.
Muhammed Ali – for the would-be champion
Item: No 2 of 10
Title: Muhammed Ali – for the would-be champion
Description: There are a lot of images of Muhammed Ali, who at the time of this photo (taken on 25th May 1965) was Cassius Clay. But perhaps none is netter than this one, taken by Neil Leifer in the first minute of the first round with Charles L. ‘Sonny’ Liston. Liston was associated with racketeers and was said by some to have thrown the fight but, in his defence, he himself had flattened Floyd Patterson three years earlier in the first round when he claimed the world heavyweight championship. So he was no pussy.

As we all know, Ali went on to hold the world championship three times and shed his early image as a big-mouthed interloper to become perhaps the most famous and loved man in the world (as well as, he’d say without fear of contradiction, the prettiest and smartest).
The Beatles – for teenagers trying to justify untidiness
Item: No 3 of 10
Title: The Beatles – for teenagers trying to justify untidiness
Description: Harry Benson took this famous pic of The Beatles in the George V Hotel in Paris back in 1964 on the night that the Fab Four found ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ hit number one in the USA chart and ‘Beatlemania’ started. The band were, at the time, considered to be the ‘good boys of pop’ whilst The Rolling Stones were their counterparts, ‘the bad boys’. Pillow-fights somehow encapsulated the image of playfulness and wholesomeness which The Beatles always managed to project at a time when Mick Jagger et al were allegedly up to far more naughtiness in the boudoir.
A Man on the Moon – for pioneers
Item: No 4 of 10
Title: A Man on the Moon – for pioneers
Description: Neil Armstrong took this shot of Buzz Aldrin in 1969 when man first set foot on another world. Armstrong was the cameraman so, although he was first on the moon, it was Aldrin who got to be immortalised then (and, later, as the inspiration behind Toy Story’s character Buzz Lightyear). Armstrong had to settle for being the reflection in Aldrin’s visor!
Gandhi and the Spinning Wheel
Item: No 5 of 10
Title: Gandhi and the Spinning Wheel – for pacifists and peacemakers
Description: Gandhi, a saintly crusader for civil disobedience, had leaned to spin as a prisoner of the British in 1932-1933. He then encouraged Indians to spin their own yarn using a charkha or portable spinning-wheel, something that undermined the British ability to generate income by flogging cloth and clothing to the Indians. Over a decade later, when Margaret Bourke-White took this pic in 1946, she only did so after following an instruction relayed by Gandhi’s secretary that she could not meet him until she knew how to use a charkha. Ironically the photo was only used two years later after Gandhi was assassinated.
Winston Churchill – for the bulldog-spirited
Item: No 6 of 10
Title: Winston Churchill – for the bulldog-spirited
Description: When the Armenian-Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh took this portrait in 1941 Britain stood alone against the Nazis and most betting men wouldn’t have given a fig for our chances. But Churchill, seizing on the opportunity that the Japanes attack on Pearl Harbor had just presented, was in Canada to seek help help from all of North America. He had offerd the photographer a cigar as he puffed away on his own. But Karsh, instead, cheekily whisked the cigar out of Churchill’s mouth and took the shot whilst Churchill was still glowering at his insolence. Though the statesman then, with some composure, offered Karsh another cigar and wryly observed: “You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed”.
JFK – for the ambitious
Item: No 7 of 10
Title: JFK – for the ambitious
Description: We’re speaking here of a man who had the vision to announce at Houston in 1962 “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard”. Seven years later they’d done it. Unfortunately in 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald, and probably others, had chosen to assassinate Kennedy so America’s greatest president never lived to see the realisation of his remarkable ambition.

There are lots of images depicting JF Kennedy. You’ll have no trouble in finding one.
Marilyn Monroe’s Subway Grate – for cheekiness
Item: No 8 of 10
Title: Marilyn Monroe’s Subway Grate – for cheekiness
Description: Here’s another icon who went before her time. Marilyn Monroe, the actress, model and singer who was a matchless comic blonde bombshell. And a muse of Kennedy’s (see above). She and her little white dress made cinematic history when it billowed up because of the updraft whilst she was standing over a subway grate in New York on 15th September 1954. Photographer Sam Shaw caught it, and the pose was hardly an accident since Monroe was blonde but no bimbo, for posterity. Eight years later she tragically died of an overdose of barbiturates.
Nelson Mandela
Item: No 9 of 10
Title: Nelson Mandela
Description: This is a man who famously said “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate. And if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”.

Mandela spoke from experience because, having been imprisoned for involvement in South African terrorism, he returned to the world stage and single-handedly invented and implemented a model of blameless reconciliation that has subsequently been adopted around the world to settle other conflicts.

There are scores of equally-good images of Mandela. You’ll have no issue finding one. And then getting EasyFrame to frame it for you.
Hillary on Everest – for those with lofty ambitions
Item: No 10 of 10
Title: Hillary on Everest – for those with lofty ambitions
Description: The New Zealander Edmund Hillary and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were the very first pair to climb Mount Everest in 1953 to cap an expedition run by John Hunt. In fact Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans had almost summited a couple of days before but had issues with their oxygen. News of their feat reached London on the morning of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation (it’s almost as if it were planned, huh?)

Again you’ll have no problems sourcing images of this moment (or, indeed, shots of Hillary and Norgay together).

Conclusion

Whoever you choose as your inspiration you’ll need it framing. Unless you know your stuff when it comes to picture frames and mounts it’s always worth going to experts. EasyFrame is an obvious and affordable supplier, whether you want to source all you’d need to do the job yourself or have them do it for you.

Any good framers will be able to show you a vast range of different solutions and advise on what might be the most suitable given the work and its proposed location.

EasyFrame is on 01234 856 501 and / or sales@EasyFrame.co.uk and they’ll always chat even if you don’t want to buy!

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