Edward STEICHEN, Kay Francis, Hollywood Enlarge 1 /1


Luxembourg 1879 – United States of America 1973

  • United States of America from 1881

Kay Francis, Hollywood 1931 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: not signed, dated on negative "1931"
Dimensions: image 23.8 h x 19.5 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1979
Accession No: NGA 80.1919

Steichen understood a photograph’s power to communicate. From 1923 to 1938 he worked for the Condé Nast publications, Vogue and Vanity Fair. Images such as this portrait of the actress Kay Francis, demonstrate his facility for photographing the stars of the day and selling the dream of Hollywood glamour, sophistication and beauty to magazine readers: a facility that made him the best known and highest-paid photographer in the world. Francis, seen here in her mid-twenties, would go on to become the Warner Brothers Studio’s number one female star and the highest-paid American film actress through the mid-thirties.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra