Angus Trumble’s 1975 In Retrospect


“The human rights activist Andrei Dimitrievich Sakharov won the Nobel Peace Prize. The deposed Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, whose titles included ‘Lion of Judah’ and ‘King of Kings,’ was secretly murdered in prison in Addis Ababa. The U.S. fiscal deficit was $35 billion. Andy Warhol bought a new black, white, and brown Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow motor car, instructing his friend Jed Johnson to let it be known that he had exchanged it for art….”

Our resident chronologer delves into the countless events—from civil war in Angola to Cecil Beaton’s stroke—of 1975.

Angus Trumble (1964–2022) was the director of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia. He was also a senior research fellow at the National Museum of Australia, as well as a curator at the Yale Center for British Art and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Trumble wrote several books, including A Brief History of the Smile (Basic Books, 2004) and The Finger: A Handbook (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2010). In 2015, he was named a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2022, he was made an honorary fellow of his alma mater, Trinity College, Melbourne.