Spectacular 1934 Norma Shearer George Hurrell Art Deco Photograph Vintage Large

Spectacular 1934 Norma Shearer George Hurrell Art Deco Photograph Vintage Large

Spectacular 1934 Norma Shearer George Hurrell Art Deco Photograph Vintage Large

Spectacular 1934 Norma Shearer George Hurrell Art Deco Photograph Vintage Large

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 1934 silver gelatin, large format, hand printed, fine art portrait of Norma Shearer by George Hurrell. A glamorously beautiful art deco photograph of the star in decadent Hollywood Regency style evoking the sensuality of pre-code Hollywood. From a sitting for Riptide, this image showcases the artist/muse relationship Hurrell and Shearer were known to have. Shearer is oft-credited with opening the doors of Hollywood to Hurrell when she enlisted him in 1929 to create a series of boudoir photographs of the actress that would make her appear as a credible art deco siren and convince her husband and the head of MGM to cast her in the ribald pre-code Ex-Wife. On the strength of that sitting, Shearer got a second-act in her career and Hurrell was hired as the head of MGM’s photography department. As seen here, their ability to bring out the best in one another was unmatched. This is a masterpiece, with incredible sophistication and beauty. Measures 10″ x 13″ with margins on a matte double weight paper stock. M-G-M ink stamps to verso. CONDITION: Photograph is in very fine condition with only the most insignificant of softening at the corners. Please use the included images as a conditional guide. She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer Mrs. Howard Hawks to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his “Follies, ” but she got work as an extra in several movies. Irving Thalberg had seen her early acting efforts and, when he joined Louis B. Mayer in 1923, gave her a five year contract. He thought she should retire after their marriage, but she wanted bigger parts. In 1927, she insisted on firing the director Viktor Tourjansky because he was unsure of her cross-eyed stare. Her first talkie was in The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929); four movies later, she won an Oscar in The Divorcee (1930). She intentionally cut down film exposure during the 1930s, relying on major roles in Thalberg’s prestige projects: The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) and Romeo and Juliet (1936) (her fifth Oscar nomination). Thalberg died of a second heart attack in September, 1936, at age 37. Norma wanted to retire, but MGM more-or-less forced her into a six-picture contract. Selznick offered her the part of Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), but public objection to her cross-eyed stare killed the deal. She starred in The Women (1939), turned down the starring role in Mrs. Miniver (1942), and retired in 1942. Later that year she married Sun Valley ski instructor Martin Arrouge, eleven years younger than she (he waived community property rights). From then on, she shunned the limelight; she was in very poor health the last decade of her life. IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan Along with Clarence Sinclair Bull, George Hurrell helped create the ideal standards of high end Hollywood Glamour in photography. But while Bull showed an early interest in photography, Hurrell was actually initially more interested in painting. The only reason he got into photography was to make a record of his paintings. Hurrell was born in Covington, Kentucky and eventually moved to Chicago, Illinois. But in 1925 he found, when he relocated to Laguna Beach, California, that there was more of a profitable interest in photography. In the later 1920s, Hurrell was introduced to actor Ramon Navarro and took a series of photographs of him. Navarro was significantly impressed enough to show the results to actress Norma Shearer who in turn sought to use Hurrell to change her wholesome image to a more provocative one. Shortly after, Shearer showed the finished photos to her husband, MGM production chief, Irving Thalberg. Thalberg signed Hurrell to a contract with MGM as the head of the portrait photography department. However, in 1932, Hurrell left MGM and opened his own studio on Sunset Boulevard. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Hurrell photographed just about every major star in the industry including Myrna Loy, Robert Montgomery, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, and Carole Lombard. In the 1940s, he moved to working for Warner Brothers Studios and photographed Bette Davis, Ann Sheridan, Errol Flynn, Maxine Fife, Humphrey Bogart, and James Cagney. Later in the same decade, he again moved–this time to Columbia Pictures–and photographed Rita Hayworth among others. While he also photographed Greta Garbo for the film Romance, the two did not hit it off and Garbo preferred to keep Clarence Sinclair Bull as her official photographer. However, Norma Shearer, who adored Hurrell, kept his as her exclusive photographer. From the book, Glamour of the Gods: George Hurrell started work at MGM at the beginning of 1930 and almost immediately transformed Hollywood photography. Brought to MGM at the insistence of Norma Shearer, his task was to make his subjects, especially women, sexy. Not only did he succeed but his work, in this respect, has never been bettered. Norma Shearer was an attractive and talented actress, who through determination and fortitude, not to mention marriage to MGM’s top producer Irving Thalberg, managed to secure most of the studio’s choicest female roles. But she found herself increasingly cast as the nice girl or sophisticated matron when she wanted the racier roles given to Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo. Hurrell changed Shearer’s appearance, at least in the portrait gallery, and there is no question that the lovely lady portrayed by Ruth Harriet Louise took on a new smoldering guise when seen through Hurrell’s lens. Hurrell’s very best work was saved for Joan Crawford who probably enjoyed being photographed more than any actress before Marilyn Monroe. Of the approximately 100,000 photographs that were coded by MGM’s publicity department between 1924 and 1942, Crawford’s face appears more often than that of any other star. Hurrell and Crawford enjoyed an extraordinary collaboration, beginning at MGM and continuing after he went independent in late 1932. Hurrell could be almost brutal with his sitters, subjecting them variously to strong lights, extreme close-ups, and complicated positions. Crawford survived all of Hurrell’s antics and her allure was only heightened by his inventive camerawork. Glamour was Hurrell’s hallmark and he saved the best for his ladies. Harlow reached her peak of sexual allure in front of Hurrell’s lens, as did Carole Lombard and Veronica Lake when he shot portraits for Paramount. As good as Hurrell was in the 1930s, his 1943 photographs of Jane Russell in the hay, taken to promote “The Outlaw, ” are portably his most famous and frequently reproduced. Hurrell did not have the temperament to last long as part of a studio team. He remained available to MGM on a contract basis throughout the 1930s photographing Harlow, Gable and Crawford among others, both at his studio and at MGM. MGM seemed to have been grooming Harvey White to take Hurrell’s place, but he lasted at the studio less than a year. The work by White that survives includes copious shots of Jean Harlow on the set for Dinner at 8. John Kobal (the famous chronicler of Hollywood) and Hurrell must have enjoyed swapping tales about Marlene Dietrich, who, when Kobal met her in 1960, was in the midst of a second career as a concert performer. A quarter of a century earlier she was one of Hollywoods reigning queens and for six years, beginning when she came to Hollywood in 1930, Dietrich’s star shone brightly, especially in a series of films made at Paramount and directed by Joseph von Sternberg. But two duds released in 1937, “Knight Without Armour” and “Angel”, saw her value sink rapidly and she was dropped from the Paramount roster. Strategically, and in an attempt to bolster her career, she commissioned a series of portraits from Hurrell. The feathered hat and chiffon dress she selected for the session obviously pleased both actress and photographer, and the results proved that, although her film career might be faltering, she was as beautiful as ever. Two years later she was back with one of her greatest hits, “Destry Rides Again”–but it was a western and made at Universal, something of a comedown for a Paramount star. Might Hurrell’s dazzling portraits have helped her secure the role? For a time, Hurrell left Hollywood to make training films for the United States Army. But, when he tried to return to Hollywood in mid 1950s, he found that his original style of glamour photography was no longer in vogue. So he decided instead to venture to New York, where he photographed for fashion magazines and did advertisements for various products. However, his initial style did not fall out of favor for long. In 1965, a revival of his work was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and it caused a sensation. He began to work again returning to Hollywood and photographing occasionally but by the 1970s he was in full swing again taking photos of such new stars as Raquel Welch, Farrah Fawcett and John Travolta. He decided to retire though in 1976. Nevertheless, he sporadically would photograph certain new stars if he found an interest in them. Sharon Stone, Brooke Shields, and Shannon Tweed were among those he felt imparted the same kind of glamour that he was famous for shooting in the Hollywood heydays. In addition, in 1984, he could not say no when Joan Collins (then hot off Dynasty) said that he would be the only photographer she would allow to photograph her in the nude for a spread that Playboy was proposing. Lastly, he created publicity photos of Annette Benning and Warren Beatty for the film “Bugsy” and Natalie cole for her album Unforgettable… Around the same time, there was a documentary being made about his life and he did his last legendary style shots of actors Sherilyn Fenn, Sharon Stone, Julian Sands, Raquel Welch, Eric Roberts and Sean Penn. After the documentary was completed, he fell ill from complications from a recurring problem with bladder cancer. He passed away May 17, 1992. Bull, his photographs have appreciated in value over time. His work is highly sought after by art dealers and collectors. Biography From: VintageMovieStarPhotos (dot) BlogSpot (dot) com. Please note: our initial condition report omitted the fact there is toning and spotting visible throughout this image. The photograph in person appears very consistent with the digital scans in our listing, so use that as your best condition guide. Our apologies that we missed the issue at first. The item “Spectacular 1934 Norma Shearer George Hurrell Art Deco Photograph Vintage Large” is in sale since Monday, August 08, 2016. This item is in the category “Entertainment Memorabilia\Movie Memorabilia\Photographs\Pre-1940\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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