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Between May 14, and August 23, 2015, the McCord Museum will present, exclusive to North America, Horst: Photographer of Style, the first major retrospective of the works of Horst P. Horst (1906-1999). This touring exhibition is produced by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Legendary German-American artist Horst was one of the 20th century’s most influential fashion and portrait photographers. The exhibition features more than 250 vintage shots that transcend time. In addition to the photographs, the retrospective will display sketchbooks, a short film, archival footage, contact sheets and magazines, as well as eight haute couture dresses from celebrated designers that include Chanel, Molyneux, Lanvin and Vionnet, all from the Victoria and Albert Museum collection.

Also included in the exhibition are a number of less well-known aspects of Horst’s work: nude studies, travel shots from the Middle East, patterns created from natural forms, interiors and portraits. It chronicles his creative process and artistic influences, touching notably on his interest in ancient Classical art, particularly Greco-Roman sculpture, the Bauhaus ideals of modern design, and Surrealism in 1930s Paris. Visitors will discover in the exhibition the legacy of a master photographer. The four primary lenders are the Horst Estate; R. J. Horst; the Condé Nast Archive in New York; and the archive of Paris Vogue.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to present the works of an artist of Horst’s stature, especially as this is the first major North American retrospective,” stated Suzanne Sauvage, President and Chief Executive Officer of the McCord Museum. “Photography and fashion are two key areas of focus for our institution, due to the very nature of our collections. The exhibition also provides us with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to work with the Victoria and Albert Museum, which, among its collections, houses the oldest museum photography collection in the world.”

In 1931, when Horst’s photographs were published in an issue of Vogue in France, an extraordinary 60-year career was launched. Horst was a master of light, form and composition, and his elegant and sophisticated photographs filled such
prestigious magazines as House and Garden, Life and, of course, Vogue. The exhibition documents and explores his collaborations with such renowned personalities as Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland, Marlene Dietrich and Salvador Dalí, to name just a few.

The creative process behind some of his most famous photographs, such as the Mainbocher Corset, will be revealed through the inclusion of original contact sheets, sketches and cameras.