Gloria Swanson by Edward Steichen spacer
Gloria Swanson
by Edward Steichen, 1924
Conde Nast Publications Inc./Courtesy George Eastman House


Vanity Fair Portraits traces the cultural history of twentieth century portrait photography and celebrates the acknowledged masters of this great art form, from Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton to Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino. The catalogue sets out the two eras of Vanity Fair's life. The first period from 1913 to 1936 covers subjects drawn from art, dance, music, film and architecture including personalities such as Pablo Picasso, Fred and Adele Astaire, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. The second period-from the reincarnation of the magazine in 1983 up to the present day-includes stars of film and theatre as well as writers, athletes, style icons, and business titans with portraits of Robert De Niro, Arthur Miller, Demi Moore, Margaret Thatcher and Lance Armstrong amongst many others.

With forewords by Graydon Carter and Sandy Nairne, and essays by Christopher Hitchens and the exhibition curators, David Friend and Terence Pepper, the catalogue explores the power of the magazine that once promised to 'ignite a dinner party at fifty yards' as well as the history of celebrity portraiture.

Order Vanity Fair Portraits online

Priced 25 (paperback) - available exclusively from the National Portrait Gallery, London
Dimensions: 280 x 230mm
Extent: 256pp with 200 illustrations

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