Queer Places:
Vassar College (Seven Sisters), 124 Raymond Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
438 E 88th St, New York, NY 10128
1 Hancox St, Stonington, CT 06378
145 Water St, Stonington, CT 06378
Evergreen Cemetery Stonington, New London County, Connecticut, USA

Rollie McKenna – Stonington Historical SocietyRosalie Thorne "Rollie" McKenna (November 15, 1918 – June 14, 2003) was an American photographer. Writers photographed by McKenna include Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost, Dylan Thomas, and Truman Capote. McKenna had a long term friendship with Malcolm Brinnin, who helped her come in contact with many of the people she photographed.[1] In addition to portraiture, McKenna also had an interest in architecture, particularly the architecture of Stonington, Connecticut. Because of advances made by the gay and lesbian liberation movements, McKenna - best known for her photographic studies of Dylan Thomas - could write in 1991 of involvements with both men and women.

Rosalie Thorne was born to a wealthy family shortly after World War I in Houston, Texas. When she was three her mother and father separated, and sent her to live with her grandparents in Mississippi. A portion of her childhood was spent growing up in the resort her grandparents Henry Brown and Mabel Marks Bacon owned called The Inn by the Sea, where she encountered a wide of variety of individuals. Several years later, when Rollie was eleven, her mother came back into her life after being remarried and spent some time running the business with her family. Shortly after The Great Depression started, the family's life altered greatly and, as a result, Rollie ended up being sent from relative to relative for years to come. She went on to pursue a degree at Vassar College in American history in 1938 and proceeded to earn a master's degree in art history in 1948. Between degrees, she took some time off and joined the U.S. Navy and shortly after married Henry Dickson McKenna in 1945. The couple divorced in 1950.[2]

McKenna's first literary portrait was of Truman Capote, in Florence in 1950. Included among her subjects were W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Edith Sitwell, Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, Leonard Bernstein, the actor James Earl Jones and the United States poet laureate Richard Wilbur.[3]

McKenna's portraits also includes but are not limited to artists Bill Brandt, Laura Gilpin, John Minton and Henry Moore. Rollie McKenna: Artists & Writers, was McKenna's first European exhibition. McKenna's work is featured in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., United States. Her portrait of Elizabeth Bishop, a Pulitzer Prize winning poet from Worcester, Massachusetts, was taken in 1951. In 2018, The Stonington Historical Society in Stonington, Connecticut created an exhibition in her honor. McKenna, who formerly lived and worked in the town, took many photos aside from her famous portraits. A Village Love Affair: A New Photography Exhibit & Publication Featuring Rollie McKenna’s Images of Stonington displays her documentary-style black and white photography of people, places and events in the town. Along with the physical exhibition, the Stonington Historical Society also published a 100+ page book of her photographs titled, A Village Love Affair: Rollie McKenna’s Stonington. This book is a broad collection of the photography of small-town Connecticut, a place McKenna quietly lived and used to express her personal photographic creativity.[5]

McKenna spent majority of her life photographing a vast array of subjects well into the 1980s before settling down in Stonington, Connecticut. She spent the latter half of her life photographing Stonington, capturing the essence of the town and the people who lived there, along with the historical architecture that surrounded the area. She also published multiple books before her death, including a memoir titled A Life in Photography in 1991,[6] and another about her close friend, the poet Dylan Thomas Portrait of Dylan: A Photographer's Memoir that was written. McKenna died in Northampton, Massachusetts on June 14, 2003 at the age of 84.[3] In 2018 the Stonington Historical Society created an exhibit called "The Village Love Affair", which featured interviews with her, some work never seen before, and some of her past work that featured photographs of Stonington.[5][7]

Alan Dugan

Robert Cunliffe "Robin" Ironside and Alan John Ross

Alastair Reid

Alexander Calder

Aline Porter

Allen Ginsberg

Allison Lurie

Ann Taylor

Anne Barbara Ridler (née Bradby)

Anne Sexton

Anthony Bailey

Archibald MacLeish

Barbara Howes

Bill Brandt

C. (Cecil) Day Lewis

D.J. (Dennis Joseph) Enright
Arts - Image - NYTimes.com
Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams

Daniel Hoffman

Dannie Abse

David Emery Gascoyne
Gay Influence: James Merrill
David Jackson

David Wright

Denise Leverton

Derek Jacobi

Derek Walcott

Donal Hal

Dorothy Brett

Dylan Thomas

Edith Hamilton

Edith Sitwell

Edmund Wilson

Edward Lucie-Smith
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt Art Print by Rollie McKenna
Eleanor Roosevelt

Elizabeth Bishop  

Elizabeth Hardwick

Elizabeth Jennings

Erik Hawkins

Eudora Welty

Ezra Pound

Galway Kinnell

George Granville Barker

Georgia O'Keeffe and René d'Harnoncourt
Helen Keller Photograph by Rollie McKenna
Helen Keller
Henry Moore Photograph by Rollie McKenna
Henry Moore

Henry Reed

Henry Sanford Thorne

Herbert Read

Herbert Zbigniew

Howard Moss

Irving Feldman

Irving Weinman

James Dickey

James Earl Jones
Gay Influence: James Merrill
James Merrill

Jean Garrigue

John Barrington Wain

John Berryman

John Betjeman

John Ciardi

John Francis Alexander Heath-Stubbs

John Hollander
John Malcolm Brinnin | Yale University Art Gallery
John Malcolm Brinnin

John Minton

John Osborne

John Piper

John Silkin

Joseph Brodsky

Katherine Anne Porter

Kathleen Raine

Keith Vaughan

Kingsley Amis
zzzze — Rollie McKenna Laura Gilpin, photographer, Santa... | Famous  photographers, Female photographers, Photographer
Laura Gilpin

Leonard Bernstein

Lloyd Frankerberg

Louis MacNeice

Louise Bogan

Lucille Clifton

Marianne Moore

Marino Marini

Mary McCarthy

Mary Ure
El hayedal del Señor Jordà: 08/23/17
May Swenson

Michael Hamburger

Mona Van Duyn

Muriel Rukeyser

Neville Sanford

Osbert Sitwell

Peter Lanyon

Peter Viereck

Philip Booth

Philip Larkin
Randall Jarrell
Randall Jarrell

Richard Eberhart

Richard Wilbur

Robert Cunliffe "Robin" Ironside and Alan John Ross
Robert Frost Photograph by Rollie Mckenna
Robert Frost

Robert Graves
Robert Traill Lowell
Robert Traill Lowell

Robert Penn Warren

Robert Richardson

Roman Vishniac

Seamus Heaney

Stanley Kunitz

Stephen Roos

Stephen Spender

Susan Napier

Sylvia Plath

T.S. Eliot

Ted Hughes
Arts - Image - NYTimes.com
Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams

Theodore Roethke

Thom Gunn

Thomas Sanchez

Thornton Wilder

Tom Wolfe

Tram Coombs

Truman Capote

Vernon Watkins
W H Auden | Yale University Art Gallery
W.H. Auden

W.S. Graham

W.S. Merwin
Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens

William Jay Smith

William Plomer

William Wright

Winfield Townley Scott

My published books:

See my published books