An almost unbearably gorgeous book full of almost impossibly glamorous people. One of the ancillary art forms spawned by Hollywood in the studio era was the studio star portrait, and probably the master of them all was George Hurrell. Lighting, makeup and wardrobe helped, but look at what there was to work with (see freckled Joan Crawford's before-and-after portraits)!
George Hurrell (1904 -- 1992) was the creator of the Hollywood glamour portrait, the maverick artist who captured movie stars of the most exalted era in Hollywood history with bold contrast and seductive poses. This lavishly illustrated book spans Hurrell's entire career, from his beginnings as a society photographer to his finale as the celebrity photographer who was himself a celebrity, and a living legend.
From 1929 to 1944 Hurrell was the "Rembrandt of Hollywood," creating portraits of Marlene Dietrich, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, and Joan Crawford that were a blend of the ethereal and the erotic. His photos of Jane Russell sulking in a haystack made the unknown girl a star -- without a film credit to her name. He immortalized leading males stars of the day from the Barrymores to Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. Latter photo shoots magnified the glamour of the likes of Warren Beatty and Sharon Stone.
Through newly acquired photos and in-depth research, photographer and historian Mark A. Vieira, author of Hurrell's Hollywood Portraits, offers not only a wealth of new images but a compelling sequel to the story presented in his earlier book on Hurrell. Hurrell was himself a star -- rich, famous, successful. Then, at the height of his career, he suffered a vertiginous fall from grace. George Hurrell's Hollywood recounts, for the first time anywhere, Hurrell's rise from the ashes -- how movie-still collectors and art dealers pulled the elderly artist into a nefarious world of theft and fraud; how his undiminished powers gave him a second career; and how his mercurial nature nearly destroyed it.
The photographs that motivate this tale are luminous, powerful, and timeless. This book showcases more than four hundred, most of which have not been published since they were created. George Hurrell's Hollywood is the ultimate work on this trailblazing artist, a fabulous montage of fact and anecdote, light and shadow.
About the Author
Mark A. Vieira is a photographer and author who specializes in Hollywood history. He has lectured at USC, UCLA, Lincoln Center, Universal Studios, and the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Vieira has appeared in documentaries such as TCM's Moguls and Movie Stars and Complicated Women. He is also the author of George Hurrell's Hollywood, Cecil B. DeMille, and Into the Dark, among other film-related titles. Vieira resides in Los Angeles.
Years ago, writer-photographer Mark A. Vieira wrote and compiled a handsome book called Hurrell's Hollywood Portraits.This enormous and elegant volume supersedes it, not only in the quantity and quality of photographs it presents, but in Vieira's candid text, which expands on his earlier work and delves into the second part of Hurrell's life... I think it's fair to refer to this exquisite tome as definitive. - Leonard Maltin
A stunning collection of Hollywood portraits by George Hurrell, accompanied by an exploration of his life and career.” - Shelf Awareness