RICH & FAMOUS • Glamour of the Gods : old school Hollywood Portraits on show at the National Portrait Gallery and in a book
Clark Gable, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, Loretta Young, Joan Collins, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe – about 70 vintage photographs from 40 years of wild Hollywood. Welcome to Glamour of the Gods.
The photographers include George Hurrell, Clarence Sinclair Bull, Laszlo Willinger, Bob Coburn or Ruth Harriet Louise. The exhibition is organised and curated by the elaborate archive of the Kobal collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
John Kobal (1940-1991) was both a collector and author and started looking feverishly for glam photography as early as the 1950s – and his interest in celebrities soon extended to the people behind the camera.
This very group of artists, who all still enjoy their fair share of fame, created the ‘godlike’ image of the silver screen legends which still stands to this day and are responsible for the widely accepted way of life of the rich and beautiful.
Back in the day, it was understood that a great photograph would earn the artist praise, honour, riches and page over page in the Yellow Press.
One of the reasons for this is that the photographs from the early days were used as promotional material. They were sent out in thousands to cinemas, magazines and fan clubs.
GLAMOUR OF THE GODS: HOLLYWOOD PORTRAITS
Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation
until the 23rd f October 2011
Porter Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London
The exhibition book is published in cooperation with Steidl
Essays by Robert Dance and John Russel Taylor.