Garbo: Portraits from Her Private Collection

Scott Reisfield, Author, Robert Dance, Author
Scott Reisfield, Author, Robert Dance, Author . Rizzoli $50 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8478-2724-4
Reviewed on: 08/15/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
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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.)

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