Tag Archives: London

Vogue at 100: A history of groundbreaking imagery

Kate Moss by Mario Testino quarter page.jpg
Kate Moss at the Master Shipwright’s House, Deptford, by Mario Testino, 2008 ©Mario Testino

The embodiment of photography history itself, Vogue and its storied photography collection steps into the spotlight with Vogue 100: A Century of Style at London’s National Portrait Gallery, an exhibition that encompasses a veritable who’s-who of photography — and fashion — from the medium’s earliest days.

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On exhibit are vintage prints from the first professional fashion photographer, Baron de Meyer, and World War II images by Vogue’s war correspondent, Lee Miller, to more contemporary names that helped define the genre in the modern era and make its mark on popular culture, including Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Snowdon, David Bailey, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts, Mario Testino, Tim Walker and Albert Watson.

Highlights include the entire set of prints from Corinne Day’s controversial Kate Moss underwear shoot, taken in 1993 at the pinnacle of the “grunge” trend, along with  Horst’s famous “corset” photograph from 1939, which inspired the video for Madonna’s hit song, “Vogue.”

“British Vogue has played a pivotal role in the development of photographic portraiture over the past century, commissioning leading photographers and designers to produce some of the most memorable and influential images in the history of fashion,” said Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery.

Kirsi Pyrhonen by Tim Walker
Kirsi Pyrhönen in Mongolia by Tim Walker, 2011 ©Tim Walker

The exhibition is curated by Robin Muir, a contributing editor to British Vogue, who has arranged several exhibitions over the past 20 years focusing on fashion and portrait photography. His books include “People in Vogue: A Century of Portraits” (2003) and “Vogue Model: The Faces of Fashion” (2010).

One surprising aspect of the collection lies in a hair-raising detail about what happened to many of the early photographic prints in the British edition’s files.

Hattie Crisell quotes Muir in New York magazine:

“There is almost nothing left in the British Vogue archives between 1916 and 1942,” he explains. “In 1942, Condé Nast sent all its photographs to the paper pulper — it was an economic necessity during wartime to try to save paper. There’s a great photograph somewhere of Cecil Beaton sitting amongst all his photographs, just about to go off to the recycling.” Luckily, in those early decades of the magazine, much of the imagery was borrowed from its older U.S. cousin, “so we were able to call upon the American Vogue archive, which is very, very thorough and beautifully stocked from about 1909 onwards.”

Thank goodness for the archives of U.S. Vogue in contributing to the exhibition.

Vogue 100: A Century of Style, National Portrait Gallery, London, 11 February – 22 May 2016, sponsored by Leon Max.

American dancer Fred Astaire dancing in a tuxedo
Fred Astaire by André de Dienes, 1939 ©Condé Nast Inc.
Claudia Schiffer - Herb Ritts resized
Claudia Schiffer in Paris by Herb Ritts, 1989 ©Herb Ritts Foundation/Trunk Archive

Leibovitz, Edgerton set auction records

LONDON (Fotophile.com) — Photographs by Annie Leibovitz and Harold Edgerton set auction records for the individual artists at a Christie’s King Street sale on 18 May 2005.

Liebovitz’s 1986 photograph of New York pop artist Keith Haring sold for £31,200 ($57,190) to a private American buyer for roughly four times its pre-sale estimate, and Harold Edgerton’s 1938 stroboscopic image, “Bobby Jones’s Golf Swing,” fetched £16,800 ($30,794). Both images were from the collection of James Danziger, former picture editor for The London Sunday Times Magazine and Vanity Fair features editor.

The top three sale prices at Christie’s main photography auction were: Gustave Le Gray‘s “The Breaking Wave, Sète” (1857) to a private American buyer for £102,000 ($186,966); Helmut Newton‘s “Elsa Peretti in Halston ‘Bunny Girl’ costume, New York” (1975) for £50,400 ($92,383) to a private European bidder; and “Dovima with Elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris” (1955) by Richard Avedon for £49,200 ($90,184).

“We were delighted with the very strong competitive bidding on these two tightly edited sales which included many rarities and fetched a combined total of just under £1.5 million,” said Philippe Garner, international specialist head of photographs for Christie’s. “We were particularly gratified to witness the participation of many new private bidders from Europe and America.”

Newton also held the fifth and seventh sales positions. Private buyers paid £45,600 ($83,585) for “Sie Kommen (Naked), French Vogue, Paris” (1981) and £38,400 ($70,387) for “Paloma Picasso wearing dress by Karl Lagerfeld, Saint-Tropez, 5 July 1973.”

William Henry Fox Talbot prints took the fourth and sixth spots. “A Bush of Hydrangea in Flower” (c. 1842) sold for £45,600 ($83,585) and “Oak Tree in Winter” (probably 1842/43) fetched £38,400 ($70,387).

From the Danziger collection, private American buyers bought Andy Warhol‘s “Mick Jagger, 1980s” Polaroid for £11,400 ($20,896), about twice its pre-sale estimate, and a 1982 Polaroid of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is the subject of a major retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum.

Photographs with top pre-sale estimates included Flip Schulke‘s image of Muhammad Ali training underwater, which originally appeared in Life magazine, and a Herb Ritts photograph of Cindy Crawford printed on gold paper, expected to draw between £3,000 and £4,000.

A private American buyer bought the Schulke print for £10,200 ($18,697), approximately 10 times its pre-sale estimate, and a private British bidder paid £12,000 ($21,996) for the Ritts.

The next auction at King Street takes place 14 November.

Danziger collection goes to auction in London

LONDON (Fotophile.com) — More than 150 photographs from the collection of James Danziger, former picture editor for The London Sunday Times Magazine and Vanity Fair features editor, will be auctioned at Christie’s on 18 May 2005.

Highlights of the collection, assembled over the past 30 years, include images of modern icons James Dean, Elvis Presley, Jackie Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Mick Jagger, as well as important images by many of the great photographers of the last century.

Photographs with top estimates include Flip Schulke‘s image of Muhammad Ali training under water, which originally appeared in Life magazine (£1,000-1,500) and a print of what might be the last photograph ever taken of Marilyn Monroe before her death in 1962 (£800-1,200). A Herb Ritts image of Cindy Crawford printed on gold paper is expected to draw between £3,000 and £4,000.

Several celebrity Polaroids by Andy Warhol, capturing a glimpse into pop stardom, will also be offered. A picture featuring Mick Jagger is expected to draw £4,000 to £6,000.

Danziger, who ran U.S. operations for Magnum Photos and founded the eponymous gallery, collected photographs spaning the history of the medium from the 1860s to the end of the 20th century. As such, auction offerings from his collection includes images by Magnum photographers such as W. Eugene SmithElliott ErwittEve ArnoldDennis Stock and Paul Fusco.

Taylor-Wood unveils a two-ton panorama

British art photographer Sam Taylor-Wood debuted her 900-by-60-foot image at Selfridges department store in London’s West End, writes Tamasin Day-Lewis in the May 2000 issue of Vanity Fair.

Taylor-Wood, a past finalist for the prestigious Turner Prize, employed such current cultural icons as Elton John and other musicians, actors, models and artists in the largest incarnation of her detailed panoramic images to date. She tells the magazine that the three 360-degree photographs joined to make a single, seamless image were concieved in the spirit of the “Elgin marbles on the Parthenon.”

Free of what Taylor-Wood calls her “usual sprinkling of sordid sex scenes,” the two-ton frieze was unveiled in May and will be on display for six months.