A Singular Elegance - Photographs From Baron Adolph de Meyer

Elizabeth Arden ad, 1927
I've been meaning to write about a wonderfully inspiring exhibition of photography I saw at the Robert Miller Gallery which has unfortunately now ended. Anyway, better late than never and the works of the photographer in question, Baron Adolph de Meyer, (1868-1946) can also be found in The Metropolitan Museum and MOMA here in New York, The V&A and The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Getty Center in L.A. and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

de Meyer, famous for his early twentieth-century portraits of renowned beauties and celebrities is widely recognized as being the founder of modern fashion photography. 

He was hired in 1913 by Condé Nast (the person, not the publishing empire he founded!) to be the very first staff photographer of both Vogue and Vanity Fair.
The following is from the Robert Miller Gallery press release,

"His masterful backlighting, subtle toning, extravagant props, and nuanced backgrounds of diaphanous or glowing fabrics reduced to patterns of light and shadow became the hallmarks of his style. An Edwardian to his core, his own life was the embodiment of the social world that Condé Nast was keen to present to an American audience: cultivated and aristocratic, but also at the nexus of a nascent celebrity culture."
He originated the multi-paged fashion essay, and was the impetus for the creation of the modern professional modeling industry.

Dolores, 1918
Josephine Baker, 1926

Fashion Study, two models at a table, 1920

Helen Lee Worthing, 1920

Lady Ottoline Morrell, 1912

Nijinsky, 1912


  1. Love this post. Love your blog! Rita

  2. Thanks Rita, such beautiful images aren't they?


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