Bown joined the Observer in 1949. Working almost exclusively in black and white with natural light, she produced stunning photographs that revealed the private side of her famous subjects. She loved cats; in her view, “once you’ve owned a cat you are hooked forever”. She was made a CBE in 1995. She died in December 2014.
Robin Christian is a curator, exhibition programmer and archivist for the Guardian Archive and the Photography and the Archive Research Centre.