Vintage’30s CS Bull Large Art Deco Glamour Photograph Bewitching Esther Ralston

Vintage'30s CS Bull Large Art Deco Glamour Photograph Bewitching Esther Ralston

Vintage'30s CS Bull Large Art Deco Glamour Photograph Bewitching Esther Ralston

Vintage'30s CS Bull Large Art Deco Glamour Photograph Bewitching Esther Ralston

We are honored to be your one-stop, 5-star source for vintage pin up, pulp magazines, original illustration art, decorative collectibles and ephemera with a wide and always changed assortment of antique and vintage items from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Mid-Century Modern eras. All items are 100% guaranteed to be original, vintage, and as described. All sell no reserve! ITEM: This is a vintage and original 1930s large format photograph from Hollywood’s premiere glamour photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull. An alluring and bewitching portrait of the silent era’s “American Venus, ” Esther Ralston. This is a truly gorgeous art deco view of the screen beauty from her transition into talking pictures. Golden Age of Hollywood portraiture at its best and an exquisite example of Bull’s talent behind the camera. Measures 10″ x 13″ with margins on a glossy double weight paper stock. MGM ink stamps to verso. Please use the included images as a conditional guide. Projected as wholesome but fun-loving, Maine-born leading lady Esther Ralston enjoyed a prime silent age career and, at her peak, was packaged and publicized as “The American Venus” by none other than that of showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. After appearing as a dazzling beauty queen in the film of the same name The American Venus (1926). A decade later, the blonde beauty’s career, however, had tapered off. Christened Esther Worth in 1902, Ms. Ralston endured a “born in a trunk” existence as the child of parents who graced the burlesque, carnival and vaudeville circuits. By the time she was 2, she had become a part of the family act (which included four brothers) with the billing now extended to The Ralston Family with Baby Esther, America’s Youngest Juliet. Esther broke into silent films as a teen and, after several unbilled roles, went on to become one of filmdom’s highest-paid silent stars in scores of dramas, comedies and westerns (the last mentioned notably opposite Hoot Gibson and Tom Mix). Outside of her “American Venus” lead, her more familiar earlier roles were as Mrs. Darling in the silent classic Peter Pan (1924) and as the Fairy Godmother in A Kiss for Cinderella (1925). They both had roles in the Mark Twain classic Huckleberry Finn (1920). Appearing in close to 100 films over a nearly 30-year period of time, she made several of them for Paramount and MGM come the advent of sound, including her first talkie Sawdust Paradise (1928); the title role in The Case of Lena Smith (1929) a “lost” film directed by Josef von Sternberg; Betrayal (1929) starring Emil Jannings and Gary Cooper, and the romantic musical The Prodigal (1931) opposite Metropolitan opera star Lawrence Tibbett. She also found occasional favor in England, appearing opposite Basil Rathbone in After the Ball (1932) and Conrad Veidt in Rome Express (1932). After supporting roles in Tin Pan Alley (1940) and San Francisco Docks (1940), Esther retired from the big screen and thereafter appeared on stage and in radio soaps. She earned her fortune from investments but eventually lost that fortune due to the stock market crash. Forced to find work outside of the world of entertainment, she was occasionally glimpsed on TV in the 1950s and early 1960s. In the ensuing years she found herself employed as a department store salesperson and talent executive. The thrice-divorced actress (her first two were to actor/director George Webb and actor/singer Will Morgan) died in Ventura, California, on January 14, 1994, of a heart attack. She had three children from the totality of her marriages. She was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her film work. IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh What is there to say about the legendary Hollywood photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull that has not already been said? One of the most well known and–along with George Hurrell–one said to have helped invent the modern idea of Hollywood Glamour in photography. Bull was born in Sun River, Montana (some sources say he was born in Michigan) in 1896. For a time he studied with the great Western painter Charles Marion Russell. But his real interest lie in photography. He went to Hollywood in 1918 and became an assistant cameraman for Metro Pictures. During breaks from film production, he began taking photographs of the various stars of the time. In 1924, when Metro Pictures became Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Bull became head of MGM stills department. He remained with the studio until the end of his career. Bull was very well accomplished in everything to do with his specialty from lighting to printing and retouching. He photographed many of the first-rate stars of the day including Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Leslie Howard, Katherine Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Hedy Lamarr, Vivian Leigh, Spencer Tracy, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Jean Harlow, John Gilbert, among many others. Of course, he is extremely well known for his numerous photographs of Greta Garbo. Katherine Hepburn said of Bull: One of the greats. And the National Portrait Gallery! From the book,’Glamour of the Gods: Clarence Sinclair Bull’s long association as a photographer with the studio that would become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer began when producer Samuel Goldwyn hired him in 1919. Managing to survive the commotion of the consolidation of Hollywood in the early and mid-1920s, Bull found himself at the helm of MGM’s stills department when the studio was formed in 1924, and stayed there until retiring in 1961. The enormity of MGM’s output of films in the 1920s–they advertised a new feature every week–saw Bull’s domain grow. He was responsible for managing MGM’s staff of photographers and the large support crew of technicians needed to develop, re-touch, print and collate the hundreds of thousands of prints distributed annually by MGM’s publicity department. At least one photograph from the 1920s shows Bull with twelve stills-men who juggled the task of shooting photos on as many as a dozen films that might be concurrently in production. At MGM, like the other studios, these men–and it was an almost exclusively male profession–worked six days a week and often long hours each day. Generally one photographer was assigned to a production and, as filming was underway, he would document each scene using an 8 x 10 view camera. These cameras not only had lenses with sharp resolution, but contact prints could be made from the negatives quickly and in enormous quantities. The stills made for each film were numbered sequentially and gathered together for a book. Stills photographers also created the images used for poster art, lobby cards and other forms of advertising conceived by imaginative publicity chiefs and their staffs. In later years, the famous documenter of all things Hollywood, John Kobal inherited the extensive work of Bull after he became good friends with Bull and his wife, Jeanne. So many of what is now known as the Kobal Collection contains Bull’s work. Chances are, if you have seen a portrait of Garbo other than Edward Steichen’s iconic image, it is the work of Bull. With the exception of one session, Bull and the reclusive actress worked together exclusively in the portrait studio from 1929 to 1941 and their collaboration resulted in a body of imagery unmatched in Hollywood photography. Reminiscing with Kobal, Bull spoke of Garbo’s extraordinary concentration and described her working methods as’businesslike. She was’his easiest subject,’ surprising given Garbo’s status as the studio’s biggest star. Garbo was one of Kobal’s favorites, and he took care to understand her sittings with Bull to produce a limited-edition portfolio of five Garbo photographs printed under Bull’s supervision from his original negatives. Bull died in 1979, just as the first portfolios were prepared. It seems that every star who worked at MGM was photographed by Bull at least once. Paramount’s biggest male attraction, Gary Cooper, was loaned to MGM in 1934 to co-star with Marion Davies in Operator 32 (1934). Bull and Cooper had a short session together on 17 of April 1934 and the results were splendid. He infused Cooper with a sleek, polished glamour that was as unusual for male subjects as was the cigarette dangling from his lips. Old timers and newcomers all had the chance to work with Bull, including vaudeville alumna Marie Dressler, who for a short time in the early 1930s was Hollywood’s number one draw, and the ingenue Lana Turner, who at twenty was co-starring with Clark Gable in Honky Tonk. Bull started experimenting with color photography in the late 1930s, making color exposure of Garbo first in 1936 and again in 1941. In the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s he worked extensively in color recording, among others, Elizabeth Taylor at the moment she was being considered for adult roles. Bull presided over a team of talented stills photographers, some of whom occasionally made portraits, generally on the set including the great Bert Longworth (see his own post). Longworth took stills for Garbo’s first three pictures and his images of Garbo and John Gilbert in a clinch for’Flesh and the Devil’ (1926) are the quintessence of old-time movie romance. He left MGM in 1927 to work for Warner Brothers. Bull’s photographs are highly collectible and can be worth in the thousands of dollars. In addition, Bull’s photographs are seen in retrospective photography galleries worldwide. Biography From: VintageMovieStarPhotos (dot) blogspot (dot) com. The item “Vintage’30s CS Bull Large Art Deco Glamour Photograph Bewitching Esther Ralston” is in sale since Friday, June 03, 2016. This item is in the category “Entertainment Memorabilia\Movie Memorabilia\Photographs\1940-49\Black & White”. The seller is “grapefruitmoongallery” and is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This item can be shipped worldwide.
  • Size: 10″ x 13″
  • Country//Region of Manufacture: United States

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