Horst: Interiors

Horst: Interiors
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Barbara Plumb. Photographs by Horst.

Boston. Bulfinch Press. 1993. First edition. Cloth-bound hardback, dust jacket. 239 pages. 186 colour and 7 b&w illustrations. 315 x 240mm (12 x 9"). 1.9kg. 0821220462. English. Near fine; light surface scratches to rear of jacket; a very good copy, not-price-clipped, no tears or inscriptions.

'During the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s a mini design revolution came and went. There to give witness to that transformation at the pinnacle of society was famed fashion and interiors photographer Horst P. Horst. Horst: Interiors by Barbara Plumb features fifty-two of the most stunning interiors Horst photographed during those years. The images of these splendid houses, apartments, and vacation retreats - including a memorable portrait of each owner - provide a wonderful record of the changing life-styles of three turbulent decades. Because he was universally respected not only for his work but also for his charm, Horst was welcomed into households that would have been off-limits to almost any other photographer. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Truman Capote, Pauline de Rothschild, Gloria Vanderbilt, Gloria Steinem, Jacqueline Onassis, Valentino, Ann Getty, Candice Bergen, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Paloma Picasso, and Andy Warhol were amony the many admirers who houses Horst photographed.' (from the blurb).
Horst's photographs came at a time when the wealthy and the famous were happy to open up their homes and their lifestyles to the general reader. The honesty and openness of the sitters make this a book to treasure.
It was during the 1960s that Horst's stylised black-and-white studio shots began to full out of favour and the fashion magazines switched their preference to natural-looking location shots in colour. Diana Vreeland, soon to be editor in chief of Vogue, suggested to Horst that he try his hand at shooting interiors. She commissioned a new feature called "Fashions in Living" in which Horst provided photographs of the interiors of a celebrity's house and Horst's partner, Valentine Lawford, would provide the text. It was an enviable job, Horst often spent a couple of weeks staying in the residence to understand fully the building, it's character and it's light. The results were a triumph and the articles ran in Vogue and House and Garden for twenty-odd years. Horst had the ability to capture the essence of the home as a reflection of the personality of the owner. He focussed on the revealing detail, such as the embroidered slipper of Baron Philippe de Rothschild resting on a carpet portrait of Napoleon III (the image which graces the cover of the book). But where Horst excelled is in the portraits that he took of the owners in their interiors, a shot that was included in each article. He used his expertise in portrait photography to perfectly capture the dynamic between the owner and their home.