Garbo: Portraits from Her Private Collection

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9780847827244: Garbo: Portraits from Her Private Collection
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Famously elusive, Greta Garbo only had her picture taken when a contract required it. She shunned publicity, kept her private life a secret, and rejected the spotlight. Though ambivalent about fame and her public image, Garbo saved all of her favorite portraits, carefully archiving original prints by Clarence Sinclair Bull, Arnold Genthe, Ruth Harriet Louise, Edward Steichen, and Cecil Beaton, among others.
Published here for the first time are these portraits–impeccably reproduced in tritone, one more beautiful than the next. In addition, the book features family pictures, candid photographs, and letters previously viewed only by her closest friends and relatives.
Scott Reisfield provides an intimate portrait of his great aunt, spanning well beyond her career in the public eye–from the earliest days in Sweden when she would sneak through the back door of the theater to see actors rehearse, to her later years in New York when she traveled exclusively through back entrances, side doors, and secret elevators.
Co-author Robert Dance’s essay traces the evolution of the image of Garbo–from the ingénue of her first publicity shots to the icon that she became–while an illustrated film production history documents all the still photography and portraiture of her entire career.
Long treasured by her immediate family alone, this collection of photographs, and the essays that accompany them, form a spectacular tribute to Garbo, the woman and the myth, on the eve of her centennial.

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About the Author:

Scott Reisfield is Greta Garbo’s grand-nephew.

Robert Dance is a private art dealer in New York, specialized in Old Master painting and drawing. He is the author of several essays on the history of silent film and co-author of Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Glamour Photography.

From Publishers Weekly:

Greta Garbo's film career began in Sweden in 1923 and ended in Hollywood in 1941. While she took a professional approach to doing photographs on the sets and in the portrait studio, she did little else to aid MGM's publicity department. Traveling under false names, she avoided interviews, premieres, parties and nightclubs. With no off-screen publicity materials, the public pictured her through the lens of "MGM's portrait giants," Clarence Sinclair Bull and Ruth Harriet Louise. New York art dealer Dance, who did a book on Louise three years ago, notes that these two photographers "shaped the look and persona of Garbo that was marketed to audiences in the 1920s and 1930s and endures today." Garbo saved their lush and creamy original prints, radiating glamour, and passed the photos on to her family. The work of Bull, Louise, George Hurrell, Edward Steichen and other photographers receives lavish presentation here, along with family pictures and candid shots previously seen only by Garbo's closest friends and relatives. Reisfield, Garbo's grandnephew, covers her life from Stockholm to New York, while Dance delivers an informative essay on the image makers and their rapport with Garbo. However, even readers with good eyesight may find the faded tan typeface difficult to read. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Scott Reisfield, Robert Dance, Robert Dance
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