National Portrait Gallery Vanity Fair Photo Exhibition

City Watch: London's Vanity Fair Photo Exhibition


If you happen to be in London (perhaps on your way back from Milan) this exhibition is worth a peek. The National Portrait Gallery is a far stretching museum with low ceilings, red carpeted hallways, and old wooden banisters. It's quiet but not in the static manner of large museums with cafes and viewing towers. It's the perfect place, actually, for the Vanity Fair Photo Exhibition (pictures even a twelve year old would find interesting) as the space will likely bring some contemplative calm to the collection. From LeCool, a London-based city mailer,

"This is a show of two halves. Vanity Fair launched in 1913 to major in celebrity photography, even before thespians took to film, but closed in 1936. The portraits were often contemplative, but caught flashes of the Jazz Age’s exuberance and toyed with the avant-garde – Man Ray left a surrealistic mark. Condé Nast revived the mag in 1983, and the big, bold, colour shots have been top of the game ever since and dominated by Annie Leibovitz compositions. The subjects are not just Hollywood, but also artists, writers, and musicians - check out Buckminster Fuller and his Dymaxion design, a perfect mad-scientist shot. There’s sexuality in many shoots (see Helen Mirren © Snowden 1995), yet Helmut Newton himself captures gravity in Margaret Thatcher. This is a feast of fame and photography, insight and glamour - simply gorgeous."



Article by Herbert Write for LeCool London

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