© Baron Adolph de Meyer, 1925, Portrait of Josephine Baker

“Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.” (Josephine Baker)

Let’s hope so, by goodness!

Cecil Beaton called him “the Debussy of photography”. The first fashion photographer of note was Baron Adolph de Meyer, who also helped elevate photography to the realms of fine art. His title was suspect,  and so was his marriage to a lesbian aristocrat who happened to be natural daughter of King Edward VII (de Meyer was ‘so queer’ as one contemporary unflatteringly put it). But they were both helpful in acquiring him social connections.

De Meyer was the archetype of the social photographer, the inside man who not only knew about haute couture, but knew also of women who could afford it. In fact, he was both a photographer and layout editor for Vogue, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar. (read more)

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