Glamour of the Gods: Classic Hollywood Portraits

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In the days before the paparazzi was hunting down the famous with telephoto lenses and celebrity blogging empires were built upon up-shots of pantyless Britney Spears, a special breed of photographers thrived. Hollywood’s greatest actors were expertly lit with a sensuous haze and encouraged in their most stunning pose. Then, tens of thousands of prints were sent of to fans and media outlets. That’s how a mass of these vintage movie star portraits ended up in the hands of the collector John Kobal. Now through October 23rd, 70 classics from the 1920s through the 1960s are on view at the London’s National Portrait Gallery exhibit Glamour of the Gods: Hollywood Portraits . See Marlin Brando’s brooding mid a seductive slump, Elizabeth Taylor looking smokin’ on the beach, and Jean Harlow’s radiating extreme looks in our gallery.

Jean Harlow by George Hurrell, 1933 © John Kobal Foundation

Marlon Brando for A Streetcar Named Desire by John Engstead, 1950 © John Kobal Foundation

James Cagney for Angels with Dirty Faces by Scotty Welbourne, 1938 © John Kobal Foundation

Louise Brooks, 1929 by Eugene Robert Richee © John Kobal Foundation

Elizabeth Taylor for Suddenly Last Summer attributed to Ken Danvers, 1959 © John Kobal Foundation

Rita Hayworth for Gilda by Robert Coburn, 1946 © John Kobal Foundation

Joan Collins for Seven Thieves by Laszlo Willinger, 1959 © John Kobal Foundation

Elizabeth Taylor by Clarence Sinclair Bull, 1948 © John Kobal Foundation

Marlene Dietrich on the set of Manpower by Laszlo Willinger, 1941 © John Kobal Foundation

Marilyn Monroe by Ernest Bachrach, 1952 © John Kobal Foundation

Clark Gable and Joan Crawford for Dancing Lady by George Hurrell, 1933 © John Kobal Foundation

Marlene Dietrich by George Hurrell, 1937 © John Kobal Foundation