- Marjorie van Elven |
The J. Paul Getty Museum, in Los Angeles, is hosting one of the most comprehensive exhibitions on fashion photography to date. Titled “Icons of Style: a Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011”, the exhibition features 160 pictures, which are showcased alongside costumes, illustrations, videos, advertisements and magazine covers.
”Once overlooked by collectors and museums because of its commercial origins, fashion photography is now recognized as having produced some of the most creative work of the twentieth century, transcending its illustrative function to yield images of great artistic quality and sophistication”, said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, in a statement.
According to the exhibition’s curator, Paul Martineau, the museum started to expand its collection of fashion photography in 2010. The curated items in the exhibition include pieces from the museum’s collection, as well as loans from other collectors and art institutions.
From pictures taken during the Great Depression and World War II to the golden age of fashion photography in the 1950’s, then going all the way to the birth of the “supermodel” in the 1990s, visitors can see works by several influential photographers. Richard Avedon, Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Peter Lindbergh, and Lillian Bassman are just some of the names whose works are featured in the museum.
But “Icons of Style: a Century of Fashion Photography” is not just a look back to the past. The exhibition also invites visitors to reflect upon the future possibilities of fashion photography, with new media such as blogs, Instagram and Snapchat entering the scene. “My hope is that this sweeping introduction to fashion photography will not only educate and delight our visitors, but also inspire new scholarly inquiry”, noted Martineau.
“Icons of Style: a Century of Fashion Photography, 1911- 2011” is on view until October 26.
Image 1: Deborah Turbeville. Bath House, negative, 1975; print, about 1980 Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of the Estate of Deborah Turbeville © Deborah Turbeville Foundation
Image 2: Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, 1924 Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © Condé Nast.
Image 3: Victor Skrebneski ,The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Purchased with funds provided by the Photographs Council.
Image 4: Willy Maywald. “Liszt” Gown by Dior, Paris, 1948 Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © 2018 Association Willy Maywald/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.
Image 5: Herb Ritts American, 1952–2002 Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989 Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Herb Ritts Foundation © Herb Ritts Foundation
Image 6: David Sims. Yohji Yamamoto, Autumn/Winter 1995, 1995 Chromogenic print. Courtesy of and © David Sims.
All Pictures courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum.