Marvelous Portraits by Edward Weston

Edward Henry Weston (1886 – 1958) was a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called:

“one of the most innovative and influential American photographers…” and “one of the masters of 20th century photography.”

Over the course of his 40-year career Weston photographed an increasingly expansive set of subjects, including landscapes, still lifes, nudes, portraits, genre scenes and even whimsical parodies. It is said that he developed a:

“quintessentially American, and specially Californian, approach to modern photography”

because of his focus on the people and places of the American West. In 1937 Weston was the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, and over the next two years he produced nearly 1,400 negatives using his 8 × 10 view camera. Some of his most famous photographs were taken of the trees and rocks at Point Lobos, California, near where he lived for many years.

Weston was born in Chicago and moved to California when he was 21. He knew he wanted to be a photographer from an early age, and initially his work was typical of the soft focus pictorialism that was popular at the time. Within a few years, however, he abandoned that style and went on to be one of the foremost champions of highly detailed photographic images.

In 1947 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and he stopped photographing soon thereafter. He spent the remaining ten years of his life overseeing the printing of more than 1,000 of his most famous images.

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Edward Weston, Portrait of Ruth St. Denis, 1916 via

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Edward Weston, Unidentified Woman, 1920 via

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Tina Modotti, Glendale. Photograph by Edward Weston, 1921 via

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Edward Weston. Frida Kahlo, 1930 via

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Xenia Kashevaroff photographed by Edward Weston in 1931. This portrait is now in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art via

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Edward Weston, Charis Wilson, 1941 The Lane Collection
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston via

Alluring Vintage Celebrity Photos by Jean De Strelecki

A painter, sculptor, poet and camera artist, Jean de Strelecki became the chief photographer of celebrities for Reutlinger Studio, Paris, in the 1910s. During this period he studied painting with Leon Bakst, the revolutionary scenic designer for the Ballet Russe.

De Strelecki took hundreds of photographs of the Ballet Russe during their historic forays to France. Among these dance images was Anna Pavlova’s favorite image of herself, as the swan. Bakst introduced de Strelecki to Serge Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballet Russe, who convinced him to set himself up as an independent artist. With Baron Adolph de Meyer, de Strelecki supplied photographic publicity portraits for dancers for several productions, most famously for Sheherazade.

In 1915 de Strelecki crossed the Atlantic to avoid the disruptions of war, residing in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Dancer Roshanara for production of Sinbad at the Winter Garden Theatre, by Jean de Streleck, 1918 via

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Dancer Roshanara by Jean de Streleck, 1910s-1920s via

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Dancer Ruth St. Denis by Jean de Strelecki via

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Ruth St Denis in Greek Veil Plastique by Jean de Strelecki, 1922 (via nypl) via

Collection of Vintage Celebrity Portraits by Baron Adolph de Meyer

Baron Adolph de Meyer (1868 – 1946) was a photographer famed for his elegant photographic portraits in the early 20th century, many of which depicted celebrities such as Mary Pickford, Rita Lydig, Luisa Casati, Billie Burke, Irene Castle, John Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Ruth St. Denis, King George V of the United Kingdom, and Queen Mary. He was also the first official fashion photographer for the American magazine Vogue, appointed to that position in 1913.

Today, few of his prints survive, most were destroyed during World War II

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Billie Burke by Baron Adolph de Meyer via

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 Ruth St. Denis in The Revelation of the Goddess from Omika by Baron Adolph de Meyer via

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Lillian Gish by Baron Adolph de Meyer via

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Irene Castle 1921 by Baron Adolph de Meyer via

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Mary Pickford Wedding Portrait by Baron Adolph de Meyer via

 

Portrait of Marchesa Luisa Casati by Adolf de Meyer

Portrait of Marchesa Luisa Casati by Baron Adolph de Meyer via

Beautiful Vintage Photos of Ruth St. Denis

Ruth Saint Denis (January 1879 – 1968) was a modern dance pioneer, introducing eastern ideas into the art.

While touring in Belasco’s production of Madame Du Barry in 1904 her life was changed. She was at a drugstore with another member of Belasco’s company in Buffalo, New York, when she saw a poster advertising Egyptian Deities cigarettes. The poster portrayed the Egyptian goddess Isis enthroned in a temple; this image captivated St. Denis on the spot and inspired her to create dances that expressed the mysticism that the goddess’s image conveyed. From then on, St. Denis was immersed in Oriental philosophies.

Like Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan before her, St. Denis felt that Europe might have more to offer her. She left with her mother for London in 1906, and traveled the continent performing her “translations” until 1909, when she returned to give a series of well-received concerts in New York City and on tour in the United States. During the next five years she continued to tour, building her reputation as an exotic dancer with an artistic bent, a “classic dancer” in the same catagory as Isadora Duncan. These two artists were, however, inherently different in their approach to the solo dance. According to St. Denis’ biographer Suzanne Shelton, Duncan sought “the Self in the Universe,” and St. Denis sought “the Universe in the Self.” For St. Denis, the exotic worlds she intended to interpret could be seen from the vantage point of her body. One of her quotes reads as follows:

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words.

After 1911, the vogue for solo dancers on the professional stage died down. To support herself, St. Denis often gave private lessons to society women, including Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. In 1938 St. Denis founded Adelphi University’s dance program, one of the first dance departments in an American university. It has since become a cornerstone of Adelphi’s Department of Performing Arts.

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Ruth St. Denis

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Ruth St. Denis

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Ruth St. Denis

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Ruth St. Denis

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Ruth St. Denis

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Ruth St Denis in the ‘East Indian Nautch Dance’ (1932)

Ruth St Denis is seen here performing the Indian Noche (1932) one of her most famous pieces.