Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Glamour of the Gods Exhibition and Birthday Booty.

I had a deliciously quiet sparkling wine filled weekend and it was just what the doctor ordered. I know it was the day of my birth and everything but really all I craved was peace and quiet after all the madness of the last few weeks. Thankfully Himself was happy to oblige and kept the wine flowing and the conversation to a minimum. Blissful.
I got some lovely birthday pressies.
 Very excited about the Miss Marple box set!
 How fab is this purse??

treated myself!

Anyhow yesterday I took myself off to London to the 'Glamour of the Gods' exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery. I had a wonderful few hours and my only complaint was there weren't enough pictures to look at!
Displayed chronologically from the 1920's to the 1960's the exhibition gave a glamourous snapshot of the biggest stars of the day. I loved the fact that they also acknowledged each photographer, every picture had 2 career descriptions, one about the actor/actress and one about the person behind the lens. There were some fascinating examples of how the pictures where set up and shot but also how they were fiercely touched up.Again only complaint is there weren't enough!

  Not so clear in this small picture, but here is Joan Crawford with freckles, wrinkles and dark lines.
and after touch-ups are done!
There were also some fascinating pictures of studio portraits being set up, a real glimpse at just how much hard work and equipment went into getting these artless shots so artless.

To digress for a moment whenever I go to exhibitions that have books in them I tend breeze past them busman's holiday fashion, thinking nothing more than 'oh we have that one at work'  or 'their copy is in better condition than ours' or 'more manuscripts - yawn'.  In this case however it was blissful to linger over the cabinet 'Oh they have a copy of that' or 'oh! I've never seen that book before'. I guess it just takes a subject I am passionate about to have me cooing. Lol.
Small though it is the exhibition is well worth the £6 entrance fee. It is well researched, well written, and an interesting glimpse into one aspect of the golden years of Hollywood. On top of that if you are a huge fan of black and white films and movie stars like I am this is sheer heaven.
Below are some of my favourite pictures from the exhibiton:

Nina Mae McKinny
Carole Lombard

Norma Shearer.

James Cagney
Grace Kelly.

Ava Gardner.

The only cloud to my enjoyment was from a strange old man who insisted on standing right up behind me no matter where I moved too *shudder*

Happily I hunted high and low and found no pictures of Maralyn Munroe! (there was one of Marilyn Monroe though ;-))
 Finally this wonderful picture of Ann Sheridan/Penny Dreadful 
Is it just me or do you see the likeness?


  1. I don't see a likeness between PD and Ann Sheridan - but that is only because I am convinced she is Jane Russells grand daughter - thats how similar they are!

    Glad you had a good birthday (belated happy wishings!!) & that the exhib was good. No Monroe? WTF? Won't put me off going though :o)

  2. There was Monroe but not Munroe lol

  3. Glad your birthday was a good one! that exhibition looks fab, loving Nina Mae McKinny. x

  4. I love those classic b&w photos, the one of Ava Gardner is stunning, oh to have curves like her! BTW - Do you reckon that Robbie Williams bears a passing resemblance to Jimmy Cagney?

  5. I am happy to take all comparisons to either Ann Sheridan or Jane Russell, even if I don't see it myself ;)

    I must go and see this exhibition soon. Glad you had a great birthday, your pressies look marvellous x

  6. What a great week you have had and a bday in July girl too? just like me! I love the cat bag and yes some pinks are a no go.I also love purple and green and together yes please.Love all those pics I collect old movie star books xxx