NEW YORK, NY.- The great Hollywood film studios (Columbia, Paramount, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, RKO and Twentieth Century Fox) presided over the 'Golden Age of Cinema', from the roaring twenties to the post war 1950s. To promote their motion pictures, the studios produced thousands of publicity images each year - portraits, scene stills, pin-ups and candids to fill the pages of fan and other magazines, and newspapers worldwide.
Gathered together for the first time, Hollywood Unseen presents photographs that seemingly show the 'ordinary lives' of tinseltowns biggest stars, including Rita Hayworth, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart and Marilyn Monroe. In reality, these candid images were as carefully constructed and prepared as any classic portrait or scene-still. The actors and actresses were portrayed exactly as the studios wanted them to be seen, whether in swim suits or on the golf course, as golden youth or magic stars of Hollywood.
Four decades of publicity photographs are presented. They have not been arranged by date, or star, or studio; instead photographs from the 1920s are juxtaposed with their counterparts taken thirty years later, and cameras across those decades share the goal of ensuring that those anointed as stars never cease to resemble the gods and goddesses who magnificently adorn the silver screen.
With a foreword by Joan Collins, the British actress who found stardom in Hollywood in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Hollywood Unseen is a splendid tribute to the incredible inventiveness and ingenuity of the great Hollywood photographers.
John Kobal was a renowned authority on the cinema and Hollywood portrait photography. He founded one of the worlds leading film photo archives, and was the author of over thirty film and photography related books, as well as the curator of numerous exhibitions worldwide. On his death in 1991, John Kobal donated his extraordinary personal archive of black & white Hollywood negatives and fine art photographic prints to The John Kobal Foundation. A registered charity, the foundation uses the income derived from its exploitation to award grants to emerging portrait photographers to help them create new work for exhibition and book projects.
Robert Dance is co-author of Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Photography (2002, California) and Garbo: Portraits from her Private Collection (2005, Rizzoli). He is also co author of the catalogue for the acclaimed exhibition Glamour of the Gods (2008, Steidl) which toured North America, Australia, and Europe, and was shown at the National Portrait Gallery, London.