Evolution of Fashion Photography, until Jan 3, 2010
September 29th, 2009 | posted by Rachel S | Posted in News
Evolution of fashion and celebrity portraiture!
Art & Glamour Photographic Exhibition – Sept 26, 2009 to Jan 3, 2009
Edward Steichen: In High Fashion
The Conde Nast Years, 1923 to 1937
Vanity Fair Portraits
Photographs from 1913 to 2003
These days, no one questions the cult of celebrity – it’s just what it is. But if you could travel back in time to investigate its origins, your time would be well spent at the latest AGO and ROM exhibitions showcasing a massive collection of fashion and celebrity photo portraits – an evolutionary snapshot of the birth of modern portraiture married with celebrity culture.
The TSF.com team recommends you pace yourself for these two exhibitions – you might want to spread your voyeurism over two days.
Day 1 – Visit the AGO Edward Steichen show at an un-peak time of day, as there are so many photos to view and they are displayed in clusters. Maybe not the best exhibition set-up (unless you have sharp elbows), but they really did want to get as many of Steichen’s photos in as possible. Also bring a scarf or light coat as the rooms are chilly!
Ed Steichen was one of the highest paid photographers of the 20th century. This exhibition is like a master class of the who’s who in fashion and the arts of the 1920’s and 30’s. Working as the chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair, Steichen photographed the most worthy fashion names of the day: Schiaparelli, Hattie Carnegie, Chanel, Lanvin, Cartier, Lelong, Perugia, Poiret and Worth – and that was just the clothing/accessories. Seriously, if you are planning a fashion photo shoot, this exhibition is excellent for research and idea generation. Modern fashion photography all began with this man.
Day 2 – The Vanity Fair show at the ROM feels less congested in its layout but we still recommend you give yourself time to view all the images. FYI – the ROM has a great café in basement so take a break mid-viewing to rest your star-struck eyes. And you will be very star-struck at this exhibition! The roster of celebrity photographers on show is extensive: Ritts, Meisel, Bill King, Nan Goldin. Lachapelle, Snowdon, Weber, Baron de Meyer, Edward Steichen, Man Ray, Cecil Beaton and of course Leibovitz. The information provided with each image is wonderful – informative cards tell you the subject, the photographer, the date and give you a bite-size bit of background info on each photo.
This show is a dynamite retrospective which clearly illustrates how Vanity Fair magazine played a huge part in creating the genre of modern celebrity portraiture for over a century. And if you are at all aspiring paparazzi/art director/editor then you had better get to this show and study it.
These supernova of celebrity shows both opened simultaneously at the AGO and ROM Sept 26, 2009 and run until early January 2010.