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ID number:  BIRRC-A1094
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Schwarz, Hans
Title / Object name:  Portrait of Miriam Karlin
Object type:  Painting
Date made:  1985
Materials:  Acrylic on card
Measurements:  Frame: W 85 x H 140cm, work: 78.5 x 133.5 cm
BIRRC-A1094.jpg

Miriam Karlin was best known for her role as the combative shop steward Paddy in the 1960s BBC sitcom The Rag Trade, known for downing tools at the drop of a hat. This connection with left-wing causes in her professional life echoed her personal beliefs. She was highly politically active and a campaigner for the Anti-Nazi League, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Soviet Jewry, as well as serving as a member of council for the actors union Equity.
Her stage roles ranged from Shaw, Chekhov and Brecht to Coward, Ayckbourn and suburban pantomime. She spent a year at the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in The Witch of Edmonton and both parts of Henry IV. In 1970 she played the ‘Cat Lady’ in A Clockwork Orange, despite being allergic to cats and having to undergo hypnotherapy to overcome her resulting phobia.
This portrait was completed for the Ben Yuri Gallery exhibition focusing on Jewish cultural figures.

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