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Link to the National Portrait Gallery main website

The John Kobal Foundation Archive consists of some 22,000 black and white original negatives from 1920-1960 featuring Hollywood star portraits, scene stills and production and publicity images.

John Kobal was a pre-eminent film historian and collector of Hollywood film photography. The author of over 30 books on film and film photography, he is credited with essentially 'rediscovering' the great Hollywood studio photographers who were employed by the movie studios to create the glamorous, iconic portraits of the most famous and intriguing stars of the day that now epitomise Hollywood. Kobal's mission in the 1970s and 80s was to reunite these forgotten artists with their original negatives and produce new prints for exhibitions he then mounted. These prints, along with the original vintage prints from the studio days, form the core of the John Kobal Foundation Archive that he donated to the foundation prior to his death in 1991.

kobal logo links to John Kobal website
photo of Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky

Ronald Colman and Vilma Bánky scene-still for The Magic Flame
by Kenneth Alexander, 1927