Ruth Harriet, MGM glamour photographer from 1925 – 1930
I have just watched the trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s new movie The Great Gatsby. A gorgeous looking remake if I’ve ever seen one. Baz has channelled the 1920’s and once again I found myself thinking that if ever there was a time I wished I had experienced, it was those magical years of singular expression in fashion, film, art, literature, architecture, dance and design generally.
With this on my mind, I then went through my family’s collection of photographs and was stopped in my tracks by a photo that appeared to summarize this time in one magical shot. I looked a little closer and realized that I was looking at a portrait of a portrait master, Ruth Harriet who worked as MGM’s portrait photographer for only five years but is responsible for thousands of glamorous photos of the stars of the day.
In 1930 she retired, for reasons I don’t know, and only ten years later she died from complications of childbirth. Now, have a look at The Great Gatsby trailer and I hope you see the same thing I did in this amazing portrait of Ruth Harriet.
Ruth Harriet Louise books:
Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Glamour Photography (Santa Barbara Museum of Art)
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel:
The Great Gatsby
Copyright Alicia Mayer 2012.