cover image Double Click: Twin Photographers in the Golden Age of Magazines

Double Click: Twin Photographers in the Golden Age of Magazines

Carol Kino. Scribner, $29 (432p) ISBN 978-1-982113-04-9

Art critic Kino debuts with an engrossing dual biography of Frances and Kathryn McLaughlin (1919–2014), twins who worked as fashion photographers during the glamorous 1940s heyday of American magazines and beyond. After an aunt gave them a camera for their high school graduation, the sisters nurtured a love for photography and in 1940 began modeling for and publishing snapshots in College Bazaar, the junior offshoot of Harper’s Bazaar. Following their senior year of college at the Pratt Institute, they were selected for Vogue’s Prix de Paris—a yearlong employment program with the magazine in Paris and New York—and rubbed elbows with such luminaries as Richard Avedon, André Kertész, and Lee Miller. In 1943, Frances joined the publishing company Condé Nast as the sole female photographer in a “firmament of male stars,” taking color and cinema verité shots for Vogue and Glamour. Meanwhile, Kathryn did evocative, “surrealism-inspired” fashion shoots with Charm, Mademoiselle, and Junior Bazaar, and later became a children’s photographer for such outlets as Parents. Plumbing the sisters’ archives and drawing on interviews with their family members, Kino paints a textured portrait of artists who came of age amid sea changes in magazine publishing and women’s cultural roles, and helped transform the way Americans consumed information and encountered fashion (“photography was a magic carpet, out of the Depression and into the future,” Kino writes). Fashion, photography, and pop culture aficionados will be captivated. Agent: Peter Steinberg, UTA. (Mar.)