Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Made in Hollywood

^ Ernest Bachrach (1899-1973)
Marilyn Monroe, RKO, 1952/2007
platinum print from the original negative
Image courtesy of John Kobal Foundation, London

Made in Hollywood is a new photographic exhibition showing at the Bendigo Art Gallery from the John Kobal Foundation and organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California.
From the 1920’s black and white imagery was the style of the photographers and most were taken on film sets. The female figures appeared like porcelain dolls, they were flawless. Many of the males were from vaudeville silent films and eventually “talkies”. Most of the men were also directors.

Charlie Chaplin and Jackie Coogan from The Kid was taken by an unknown photographer, a platinum print printed from the original negative in 1921. Situated next to this photograph is one of comedians Laurel and Hardy by independent photographer Lansing Brown in 1925.

Clarence Sinclair Bull was a photographer, whose name appeared on many images, shooting the likes of Greta Garbo in 1929 to Boris Karloff on the set of The Mask of Fu Manchu in the early 30’s and Grace Kelly during the 50’s.

Reading each description of the time gave an insight to what that era was like and the history of the performers; Vaudeville was the most popular theatrical genre of the time.

Other names included Elizabeth Taylor and Humphrey Bogart during the 40’s, Orson Welles (co-founder of the Mercury Theatre), James Dean and Marlon Brando. Also included is a colored nude of Marilyn Monroe by Tom Kelley in 1949, when she was 22 years old and was paid a $50 modeling fee, it was published in the first Playboy magazine.

All photographs were breath taking and magical, making everyone wanting to take a trip back in time.

Made in Hollywood is on show at the Bendigo Art Gallery until the 12th February 2012. For more information see bendigoartgallery.com.au.

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