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Posts Tagged ‘National Portrait Gallery

It’s the *pictures* that got small…

Hedy Lamarr, actress and pioneer of spread-spectrum radio transmission

Virginia Postrel reports in Deep Glamour:

A beautiful exhibit of classic Hollywood portraits is currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London. (In December, it moves to the Bendigo Art Gallery in Victoria, Australia.) The exhibit, which draws its photos from the John Kobal Collection, originated at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, which provided the images for this slideshow, which originally ran on DG in 2008.

The photos all present idealized versions of the stars–but what a range of ideals they represent, from the refined elegance of Grace Kelly to the sultry seductiveness of Rita Hayworth’s Gilda, from Vivian Leigh in hyperfeminine white ruffles to Marlene Dietrich tough and dominant in a crisp blouse and slacks. And those are just (a few of) the women…

Like Debbie Reynolds’s late-lamented costume collection, the John Kobal Collection originated with MGM’s mother of all garage sales. In the ’60s and ’70s, when Golden Age glamour was out of fashion and studios were dumping their archives, Kobal bought and preserved prints and negatives, befriended aging stars and photographers, and documented their stories. Most of the classic images you see reproduced today come from his archives…

Marlon Brando, actor and activist

More images at Deep Glamour.

As we strike our poses, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that High Society opened in movie theaters across the U.S.  It was the last film made by Grace Kelly, who had married Prince Ranier of Monaco months before the premiere.  It was a questionable note– a remake (of The Philadelphia Story)– on which to retire… but it did feature music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

Grace Kelly, just before she became Princess Consort of Monaco

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