Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) was the Twentieth Century’s most celebrated fashion photographer. He pioneered epic storytelling in his images, taking portrait and fashion photography beyond the stiff formality of his predecessors and injecting an easy and casual elegance into the art. His photographs created the age of the supermodel and made him the photographer of choice for celebrities, artists, Presidents and Prime Ministers. He was a permanent fixture at historic moments photographing the British Royal Family, in private and public, as well as leading figures from the worlds of film, theatre, and music. Subjects include Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles, Twiggy, Grace Coddington, David Bowie, Iman, Jerry Hall and countless others. In a career that spanned seven decades, Parkinson dazzled the world and inspired his peers with sparkling inventiveness as a portrait and fashion photographer.
Parkinson worked for a wide range of publications, notably Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and other international magazines, which brought him worldwide recognition. He reinvented himself and fashion photography throughout his career, from his ground-breaking, spontaneous images of the 1930s, through the war years and the Swinging Sixties to the exotic locations of the 1970s and 1980s. By the end of his life he had become a household name, the recipient of a CBE, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and the subject of a large scale retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, London. And yet fewer than 200 of his photographs have ever been seen or exhibited outside of their initial publication and his archive of more than 500,000 images provides a historic record, rich to explore. Norman Parkinson died whist on location in Singapore shooting for Town & Country in 1990.
Norman Parkinson Iconic News
This shot, taken from the roof of the Condé Nast building on Lexington Avenue, was for a ‘Hat Fashions’ story that ran in the October 1949 issue of American Vogue. With a view of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, the models are captured mid-gossip, their pose perhaps suggestive of a quick catch-up taking place during a busy lunch break.Read the full article
For the first time in France, many preparatory photographs from the most famous series of the British photographer Norman Parkinson (1913-1990) will be presented. After looking at the contact sheets and before choosing the final image that would be chosen for the publication, the fashion photographer made small black-and-white film prints from the negatives. Galerie … Read the full article
A striking classic, available in a new size for the first time!Read the full article
But it was one shot in particular, of model Pamela Minchin, clad in a Fortnum & Mason swimsuit, jumping from a breakwater on to a beach on the Isle of Wight in July 1939, that would become one of the most seminal images of the iconic photographers career.Read the full article