Bert Stern

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Bert Stern was born in New York in 1929. He developed a passion for photography at a very young age and decided to study all the secrets of this enchanting world on his own. Soon after taking up a self taught photography course, Stern became extremely professional at the art of photography that in 1946 he was assigned the role of assistant to art director Hershel Bramson at Look magazine. In 1949 he proceeded further along in his career by becoming art direct at Mayfair magazine, which he worked for almost 3 years, before he decided to move on and joining Bramson in a whole new exciting project. In fact, the two art directors worked together at L.C. Gumbiner advertising agency, where they basically had the ability to create the modern and well-known advertising photograph.

Bert Stern started his incredible career in the photography and advertising industry in the 1950s during which he saw his fame skyrocket after he shot an ad campaign for Smirnoff Vodka, which represents a pyramid in Giza, Egypt photographed at daybreak with a V shaped glass full of vodka set in the front of a Great Pyramid which sits in the background. This campaign shot young Stern to unprecedented fame both in the advertising industry and in the fashion world. He became known as the fashion icons’ trusted and beloved photographer, admired by most fellow co-workers and loved by many of the subjects he shot.

Throughout his career, Bert Stern shot high profile people such as Elisabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Twiggy, Iman to name a few. However, his most intense and artful project was shooting famous and beautiful actress Marilyn Monroe. In 1962, Stern was commissioned by Vogue to shoot 2,500 pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Even if the actress was several hours late to the first of the three sessions of the photo shoot, Stern made sure to let her find 1952 Dom Perignon, music of Frank Sinatra in the background and of course clothes sent by Vogue. Stern remembers the shoot as the most intense and passionate of his career as he, like many other men at that time, was madly in love with Monroe. Stern published a book titled The Last Sitting in 1982 full of pictures from this photo shoot, including the ones Marilyn Monroe had decided not to keep. The title is due to the sudden death of the actress only 6 weeks after Stern immortalized her with in his photos.

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Diamonds & Champagne

Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery cordially invites you to ‘Diamonds and Champagne’, the launch of Marilyn – The 90th Birthday Touring Exhibition. On display includes work by George Barris, Bert Stern, … read more →