Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Norman Parkinson: A Very British Glamour

I went to see this exhibition at Somerset House at lunchtime yesterday. I was walking through the courtyard when I saw the poster, so it was a much unplanned visit! The exhibition celebrates the publication of a book of the same tittle and presents an interesting selection of his work.  

I had forgotten how good Parkinson's photographs were! His career spanned from the 1930s to the 1980s, and consistently evolved. He is celebrated as a pioneer of fashion photography, and for instance initiated fashion shots on exotic foreign locations, from South Africa to New York.

Whilst I am especially fond of the London pictures, this is (possibly) my favourite, taken in New York in 1949. The colours are so vivid; it looks more like a film still than a fashion photograph. It is lively and humorous, staged but not theatrical.

The London pictures blend the chic glamour of the 1940s and 1950s with humour, the energy of the 1960s with spontaneity!

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