NEW YORK CITY |  Cornel Lucas, the British portrait photographer who died this past November 2012 at the age of 92, is being remembered for the defining images he created of actors Brigitte Bardot, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, and a host of other celebrities during the 1950s and ’60s.  At the time publicity photos were the lifeblood of the star-making process, and Lucas was considered a master of lighting and the 10-by-12 plate camera.

FIORENTINI + BAKER NYC has extended its special exhibition of rare vintage prints by Lucas through January 20, 2013 at its space located on 54 Mercer Street, New York City.  Visit www.fiorentini-baker.com.

This is the first time the internationally renowned photographer has exhibited in New York City.

Lucas also made publicity photos for David Niven, Stewart Granger, Joan Collins, Leslie Caron, Dirk Bogarde, Cyd Charisse, and Lauren Bacall. This photograph of Bacall, shot in 1958, was made shortly after her husband, Humphrey Bogart, had died. She gave Lucas her trademark look for the portrait: ”that eyes-lowered pose she would do in photographs and films,” he said.

Lauren_Bacall (1958) | Photo by Cornel Lucas
Lauren_Bacall (1958) | Photo by Cornel Lucas

The Bacall photo is one of many of his that hang in Britain’s National Portrait Gallery. In 1998, he was the first photographer recognized by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for service to the nation’s film industry.

His career had taken off in 1948, when, as a relative newcomer in the publicity department at British Film Studios, he was assigned to create stills of a leading lady who had just dismissed another photographer for what she considered incompetent lighting technique.

Marieve Dictrich 1948 | Cornel Lucas
Marieve Dictrich 1948 | Cornel Lucas

 

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