Free* | JAMES ABBE Photographer of the Jazz Age

Friday 7 October / 11.30am



Meet Terence Pepper, the biographer of James Abbe and curator of the current display JAMES ABBE Photographer of the Jazz Age.

At this free* talk, Pepper celebrates the work of this master 20th century photographer and presents new insights on James Abbe’s approach to fashion photography and celebrity portraiture. Abbe (1883–1973) began his career in New York, moving to Paris in the 1920s. He produced many iconic images from the world of entertainment, making portraits in his studio and on location for key movies and stage productions featuring Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish and Fred and Adele Astaire. Other fashion studies show Gilda Gray, the Dolly Sisters and Louise Brooks. Pepper outlines how the selection of photographs on display was made, and draws parallels with the work of other photographers featured in the main exhibition of Jazz Age Fashion.

Terence Pepper is a Photo Curator and Exhibition Organiser. He wrote the definitive biography of James Abbe, The Lure of the Limelight (1995), for the National Portrait Gallery, London where he worked as Curator of Photographs for 40 years. His award-winning exhibitions and publications include Vanity Fair Portraits (2008), Beaton: Portraits (2004), Man Ray Portraits (2013) and most recently Audrey Hepburn Portraits of an Icon (2015).

*Free talk with exhibition entry

Book Online
Exhibition tickets: £9.90 adults* / £7.70 concessions* / £6 students
*Includes 10% gift aid

Images Courtesy Private Collection / © James Abbe Archive.
Image left: Dolores, 1925 by James Abbe. Dolores Wilkinson (1893 or 94–1975) was the first supermodel. Discovered and groomed by Lady Duff-Gordon (Lucile) she was taken to New York where Florenz Ziegfeld recruited her for the Follies, in which she caused a sensation.
Image right: Louise Brooks, 1929 by James Abbe. Brooks (1906-85) is wearing Jean Patou on the set of Prix de Beaute, Paris, September 1929.

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