Amazing Surreal Photomontages by Grete Stern II

Grete Stern (1904–99) began taking private classes with Walter Peterhans―soon to become head of photography at the Bauhaus―in Berlin in 1927. Stern is best known as half of Foto Ringl + Pit, the innovative advertising and design studio she founded in Berlin in 1929 with her fellow Bauhaus alumna Ellen Auerbach.

In 1932 Stern met fellow photographer Horacio Coppola at the Bauhaus. In 1933 they emigrated to London where they married. Two years later in 1935 they settled in Coppola’s native Argentina. Two months after arriving they presented what the magazine Sur called

“the first serious exhibition of photographic art in Buenos Aires”

The exhibition comprised work produced in Germany and London. For a while Stern and Coppola tried operating a studio in Buenos Aires. It didn´t work out and the couple divorced in 1943. After a brief return to England, Stern settled in Argentina to raise a family, her daughter Silvia and her son Andrés.

Among Stern’s most significant accomplishments are her Dreams (Sueños). In 1948 Stern started illustrating women´s dreams for a women’s magazine column titled “El psicoanálisis le ayudará” (“Psychoanalysis will help you”). Over the course of three years Stern created 140 witty photomontages, where she portrayed women’s oppression and submission in Argentine society with sarcastic and surreal images. The photomontage was an ideal way for Stern to express her ideas about the dominant values.

She became a citizen of Argentina in 1958.

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 43: Untitled,  1949 via

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Ringl + Pit, Hat and Gloves, 1930 via

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Grete Stern, Dream via

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 Grete Stern, Dream No. 20: Perspective via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 46: Estrangement via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 44: The Accused via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 13: Consent via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 41: The Phone Call via

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Grete Stern, Dream via

Amazing Vintage Surreal Glamour by photographer Angus McBean

Angus McBean (8 June 1904 – 9 June 1990) was a Welsh photographer, set designer and cult figure associated with surrealism.

Two figures have prevented McBean from gaining more fame: Cecil Beaton (thanks to his lavish lifestyle and work for Vogue and the British Royal Family); and David Bailey, who much later (1960s) was close to Cecil Beaton both personally and in terms of style.

McBean did not enjoy this level of fame either in his life or after death, even though he was arguably the better technically and artistically.

Additionally McBean’s focus on the world of theatre (particularly London’s West End) did not give him international recognition.

In 2007, seven original colour transparencies (slides) of his photographs for the Beatles album cover Please Please Me by McBean were accidentally thrown in the bin at the headquarters of EMI.

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Marlene Dietrich, “No Highway in the Sky” by Angus Mcbean Pinewood Studios, 1951 via

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Audrey Hepburn by Angus Mcbean via

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Vivien Leigh as Aurora by Angus McBean, 1938 via

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 Hermione Baddeley by Angus McBean, 1938 Gelatin via

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Marika Rivera by Angus Mcbean via

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Dorothy Dickson by Angus Mcbean, 1938 via fotographiaonline.com via

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Beatrice Lillie by Angus McBean, 1940s via

Beautiful Vintage Photos From “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli”

The now scarce and out of print book “Shocking Schiaparelli” features beautiful images by the surrealist inspired fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli – one of the most influential designers of the 1930s & 1940s.

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

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Photo from “Shocking – The Art & Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli” via

Surrealist Muse Nusch Éluard – Photos by Dora Maar

Nusch Éluard (born Maria Benzn; 1906 – 1946) was a French performer, model and surrealist artist.

Born in Mulhouse (then part of the German Empire), she met Swiss architect and artist Max Bill in the Odeon Café in Zurich; he nicknamed her “Nusch”, a name she would stick to.

She moved to Paris in 1928 working as a stage performer, variously described as a small-time actress, a traveling acrobat, and a “hypnotist‘s stooge”. in In 1930 she met the poet Paul Éluard working as a model. They married him in 1934. She produced surrealist photomontage and other work, and is the subject of “Facile,” a collection of Éluard’s poetry published as a photogravure book, illustrated with Man Ray’s nude photographs of her.

She was also the subject of several cubist portraits and sketches by Pablo Picasso in the late 1930s, and is said to have had an affair with him. Nusch worked for the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France during World War II. She died in 1946 in Paris, collapsing in the street due to a massive stroke.

Dora Maar – Nusch Eluard, c. 1935

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Nusch Eluard (couchée à plat ventre sur la plage), 1936-37 Photo by Dora Maar ©

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Dora Maar, Nusch Eluard, 1935

Elsa Schiaparelli – Mad & Original Fashion designer

Elsa Schiaparelli couldn’t sew and she didn’t sketch, yet she stormed Paris fashion in the 1920s and 1930s.  Along with Coco Chanel, her greatest rival, she is regarded as one of the most prominent figures in fashion between the two World Wars. While her contemporaries Chanel and Vionnet set the period’s standards of taste and beauty in fashion design, Schiaparelli flouted convention in the pursuit of a more idiosyncratic style. Her designs were heavily influenced by Surrealists and she Invented the power shoulders, the wedge shoes, the jumpsuit, and the color shocking pink and inspired a generation of unconventional couturiers.

Madder and more original than most of her contemporaries, Mme Schiaparelli is the one to whom the word ‘genius’ is applied most often.

Time magazine wrote of its cover subject in 1934. Of her contemporaries she described Chanel as “that milliner”, while Chanel once dismissed her rival as ‘that Italian artist who makes clothes”.

She came from a privileged background and was born at the Palazzo Corsini in Rome in 1890. Her mother, Maria-Luisa, was a Neapolitan aristocrat, and her father, Celestino Schiaparelli, was a renowned scholar and curator of medieval manuscripts. Her father was Dean of the University of Rome and an authority on Sanskrit. She was a niece of astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who discovered the so-called canali of Mars, and she spent hours with him studying the heavens. She studied philosophy at the University of Rome, during which she published a book of sensual poems that shocked her conservative family. Schiaparelli was sent to a convent until she went on hunger strike and at the age of 22 accepted a job in London as a nanny. Elsa led a refined life with a certain amount of luxury provided by her parents’ wealth and high social status. She believed, however, that this luxury was stifling to her art and creativity and so she removed herself from the “lap of luxury” as quickly as possible. Schiaparelli moved first to New York City and then to Paris, combining her love of art and design to become a couturier

Elsa Schiaparelli, by Cecil Beaton, 1930s - NPG x40358 - © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

Elsa Schiaparelli by Cecil Beaton 1930s

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Interior designer Elsie de Wolfe wearing a Schiaparelli sequined cape

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1938 – Marlene Dietrich wearing a Schiaparelli-designed hat.

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Model and store mannequin at Elsa Schiaparelli’s store, photo by Regina Relang, Paris, 1951

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