Jerry Schatzberg: Femmes in Focus

The New York Photographer’s Ode to the Sirens of the 60s

“Everybody looks back to the 60s and says, ‘Oh, those were the days.’ And they probably were the days. There was a different kind of elegance then, a different spirit of life.” Explaining his new book’s title, Women Then, New York native Jerry Schatzberg sounds nostalgic. But his fond memories are legitimate; he didn’t just photograph the cool creatives of the 50s and 60s but was part of the in-crowd. Schatzberg’s roll call of sitters, shot for the likes of Vogue and Esquire, read like a who’s who of the era: Aretha Franklin, Catherine Deneuve, Andy Warhol and his Factory friends, Faye Dunaway and Francis Ford Coppola, many of whom he met at hip New York clubs Max’s Kansas City and Elaine’s. It might also have helped that he co-owned two of the Big Apple’s “it” hangouts: Ondine—where Edie Sedgwick mingled with Jackie Kennedy to the sounds of The Doors—and Salvation, which played host to Jimmy Hendrix's first gig in 1967. But it was his iconic images rather than his famous connections that won the photographer critical acclaim, such as a slightly blurred Bob Dylan on the cover of the singer-sonwriter's 1966 album Blonde On Blonde, and the Sergeant Pepper-mocking artwork for Frank Zappa’s 1968 The Incredible History of the Mothers. Schatzberg’s newest tome considers the females who enriched the period, including Sharon Tate, Nico and Dunaway donned in fur, chic berets and radiating flawless skin. Today we premiere a selection of the moody, glamorous and undeniably elegant snapshots of the women who took his breath away. 

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