“I like to make people look as good as they’d like to look, and with luck, a shade better,” proclaimed Norman Parkinson, whose career started in 1931.
For over 50 years, a long list of stars has been posing in front of his camera, including Audrey Hepburn, Wenda Parkinson, Ava Gardner, Lisa Fonssagrives (later Mrs Irving Penn), Vivien Leigh, Apollonia van Ravenstein, Raquel Welch, Jean Seberg, Iman or Jerry Hall and even the British Royal Family.
He was a pioneer of fashion photography and worked for Harper's Bazaar, later for Vogue and Queen magazine in the U.S. He succeeded in creating an effective merger between portrait photography and the glamorous world of fashion photography.
He had an eye for elegance and beauty, loved women and resided in New York – he sought to revolutionise traditional fashion photography and its boring poses. He preferred to photograph his models against unusual backdrops, between elephants, heaved into the sky with a crane and always in natural light.
“Photography is a collaborative process – like dance –and Norman Parkinson was like Fred Astaire.” Iman
Norman Parkinson died in 1990 in Malaysia on location.
The exhibition in Amsterdam presents early vintage silver prints from the 1930s, 40s and 50s and will run from the 26th of November until the 21st of January 2012.
Norman Parkinson - The Glamour Years
Langestraat 47, 1015 AK, Amsterdam