13 to 24 of 29
Nadar (Gaspard Felix Tournachon) (attributed to) - French Attorney
Nadar (Gaspard Felix Tournachon) (attributed to)
French Attorney
$1,750
Sale
$1,225
Robert Phillips - Large Portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower (
Robert Phillips
Large Portrait of President Dwight D. Eisenhower ("President and Little Rock")
$500
Sale
$350
Paul Schutzer - Jacqueline Kennedy with Charles De Gaulle, Paris
Paul Schutzer
Jacqueline Kennedy with Charles De Gaulle, Paris
$1,000
Underwood & Underwood - Theodore Roosevelt  Waving to Crowd from Steamboat (close up)
Underwood & Underwood
Theodore Roosevelt Waving to Crowd from Steamboat (close up)
$125
Sale
$88
Vytas Valaitis - Ted Kennedy  Playing with His Daughter Kara
Vytas Valaitis
Ted Kennedy Playing with His Daughter Kara
$1,500
Sale
$1,050
Vytas Valaitis - Ted Kennedy  Putting on His Jacket
Vytas Valaitis
Ted Kennedy Putting on His Jacket
$1,500
Sale
$1,050
Vytas Valaitis - Ted Kennedy in Front of Campaign Headquarters
Vytas Valaitis
Ted Kennedy in Front of Campaign Headquarters
$1,500
Sale
$1,050
Vytas Valaitis - Ted Kennedy with His Daughter, Kara (Two Photos)
Vytas Valaitis
Ted Kennedy with His Daughter, Kara (Two Photos)
$2,750
Sale
$1,925
William F. Warnecke - President William Taft, Secretary of the Navy Meyer, Miss Calder and Others
William F. Warnecke
President William Taft, Secretary of the Navy Meyer, Miss Calder and Others
$150
Sale
$105
Wide World Photos - J. D. Rockefeller and Children
Wide World Photos
J. D. Rockefeller and Children
$50
Anonymous - Charles Sumner
Anonymous
Charles Sumner
$50
Anonymous - H. R. H. Prince Albert
Anonymous
H. R. H. Prince Albert
$35
By Matt Damsker

From photography’s earliest days, portraits of politicians, scientists and the otherwise eminent tended to a formality that ensured a sense of dignity and a fitting seriousness of purpose. After all, these leaders and avatars of progress could not be depicted as men or women given to the slightest frivolity, human nature be damned. Thus, as this exhibit showcases, vintage19th-century images of French ministers, British royalty, or American senators and presidents are studies in stiff-backed rectitude or, in the case of princesses, softly ennobled womanhood.

Not surprisingly, photography’s early images of statesmen often show them seated, with pen in hand as if to sign an important treaty, exuding competence and diligence. Indeed, the seminal photographer Nadar granted an immemorial stature to his shadowed subjects. This held for the most famous, such as Abraham Lincoln or Samuel Morse, to the forgotten legislators of Lincoln’s day, as well as for the statesmen and great men up to and including much of the 1950s. But it is not long into the ‘50s that times, and photographic fashion, began to change.

By 1955, in fact, world leaders such as Winston Churchill are photographed in all their vulnerability, in some cases moved to tears, as photographers such as Larry Burrows and Henri Cartier-Bresson locate their subjects in the everyday world.

The 1960s, of course, would herald a loosening of photographic (and virtually all) tradition on a large scale, as photographers Vytas Valaitis and Paul Schutzer captured candid, utterly human moments in which icons like Jacqueline Kennedy are seen socializing merrily with the likes of Charles DeGaulle, while the Kennedy men are photographed at ease, in ways that herald a truly modern form of celebrity. The days of carefully stage-managed photographic moments--in which a Theodore or Franklin Roosevelt were glimpsed among the people, exuding a modern optimism–yielded to a new naturalism in photography. This exhibit chronicles the great distance between yesterday’s strict formality and today’s transparency.

Portraits of Famous People: Politicians, Scientists and Other Historical Figures
About This Exhibit
Image List

Exhibited and Sold By
Contemporary Works / Vintage Works, Ltd.

258 Inverness Circle
Chalfont, Pennsylvania   18914   USA

Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith

Email info@vintageworks.net

Phone +1-215-822-5662

Call for an Appointment

 

Share This

Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on linkedinShare on pinterestShare on tumblrShare via email
13 to 24 of 29