A Bird’s-Eye View of Fashion Photography From Behind the Camera

·2 min read

BACK AT THE HOMESTEAD: In certain circles, Port Washington, N.Y., was known to be where publishing titans William Randolph Hearst, Condé Nast and Alexander Liberman lived. Now its local public library is paying homage to those roots with a new virtual exhibition that offers a multimedia view of fashion photography.

”The Reflected Eye: Fashion Through the Lens of the Photographer” is meant to examine how the medium is “a reflection of the society that we live in or the dream society that we want to create,” according to organizers. Accessible through July 30, the online exhibit centers on fashion’s artistic impact through the lens of the photographer. The two-part exhibition features work from 37 photographers who hail from 16 different countries. Combined, the selection spans more than 90 years.

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Along with late greats like Erwin Blumenfeld and Fernand Fonssagrives, there are images from more contemporary photographers like Alexi Lubomirski, Chen Man, William Helburn, Jingna Zhang, Anne Menke, Andi Elloway, Danil Golovkin, Melvin Sokolsky, Marta Lamovsek, Hayat Osamah, Yasunari Kikuma, Kristian Schuller and Benjamin Kanarek.

Instead of just focusing on the photographs, curators Patty Sicular and Vanessa Nastro want viewers to consider the photographers who captured these moments in time. That is within reach since some of the photographers share the stories behind their images in their own words. The Port Washington Public Library’s exhibit includes oral histories and documentary elements. And a few historians, curators and editors also chime in with video commentary.

Sicular said, “Anyone can click a camera, but the work that goes into a unique image is often a silent relationship between the photographer and the model.”

She said the exhibition came about because Hearst, Nast and Lieberman once had homes in Sands Point, Port Washington. Located less than 30 miles from Manhattan at the tip of the Port Washington peninsula, Sands Point holds other literary lore: It was said to be the inspiration for the “East Egg” setting for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”

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