Glamour of the Gods: An Exhibition


A celebration of Hollywood portraiture of the period spanning 1920 to 1960. Career-defining images of Hollywood’s greatest names.

Marlon Brando for A Streetcar Named Desire by John Engstead, 1950 via npg

A new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London will examine the importance of photography in creating the stars of Hollywood from 1920 to 1960. From Greta Garbo and Clark Gable to Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, these portraits transformed actors and actresses into international style icons.

Marilyn Monroe by Ernest Bachrach, 1952 via npg

Featuring over 70 photographs, most of which are vintage prints, the exhibition demonstrates photography’s decisive role in creating and marketing the stars central to Hollywood’s mystique.

Greta Garbo and John Gilbert for Flesh and The Devil by Bert Longworth, 1926 via npg

Portraits released by Hollywood film studios between 1920 and 1960 depicted the actors as glamorous and inaccessible, imbuing them with mystique. This was a time before paparazzi, and these photographs were the only vehicle of connection between stars and fans. The portrait became the studio’s chief tool to keep the faces of favorites in the minds of audiences. Dramatic lighting, unique angles and skillfull retouching created icons of glamour.

Clark Gable and Joan Crawford for Dancing Lady by George Hurrell, 1933 via npg

The exhibition will include works by photographers such as Davis Boulton, one of the few British photographers working for the Hollywood studios, and Ruth Harriet Louise, the only woman to run a studio photo gallery.

Marlene Dietrich by George Hurrell, 1937 via npg

The exhibition will run from the 7th July until 23rd October 2011 in the Porter Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, London.

Rita Hayworth for Gilda by Robert Coburn, 1946 via npg

Following the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, the exhibition will subsequently tour to:

Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia

December 2011 – March 2012

Deutsches Filmmuseum, Germany
April – September 2012

For further information, visit

written by webo29 on 2011-06-29 #news #hollywood #london #uk #b-w #lomography #portraits #exhibition #1920 #news #1960 #npg


  1. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    All of my favorites in one place!

  2. webo29
    webo29 ·

    @mafiosa ! lucky you!

More Interesting Articles