I attended the Private View this week of the NPG’s new exhibition of classic movie star portrait photography – an exhibition I was especially interested in after writing and producing the book a few years ago of the Gallery’s exhibition of the lifetime’s work of the movie star portrait photographer Cornel Lucas (Shooting Stars).
Glamour of the Gods is a celebration of Hollywood portraiture from the industry’s ‘Golden Age’, the period 1920 to 1960. From Greta Garbo and Clark Gable to Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, it is these portraits that transformed actors and actresses into international style icons. In many cases these are the career-defining images of Hollywood’s greatest names and help to illustrate their enduring appeal.
Featuring over 70 photographs, most of which are exquisite vintage prints displayed for the first time, the exhibition is drawn from the extraordinary archive of the John Kobal Foundation and demonstrate photography’s decisive role in creating and marketing the stars central to the Hollywood mystique.