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New York: Florence Vandamm  Nov 18, '09 3:54 AM
by Vlad for group historicalziegfeldgroup #167

Florence Vandamm

Time Period: 1923-1950
Location: W. 57th Street, New York

“Florence Vandamm specialized in portraits of theatrical performers in costume, whether in modern fashion or historical dress. A traditionalist when it came to posing, she preferred to present sitters in formal poses in richly shadowed settings. A straight photographer, she declined to manipulate the negative beyond retouching of blemishes and refining skin tone. There was a seriousness to her images that suited the sobriety of the country during the 1930s. Tommy Vandamm's production shots were usually taken after the final dress rehearsal of a production. His shots were noteworthy for the clarity with which they showed the focus of stage action. In the later 1930s and 1940s he had the stage managers up the lighting level of the stages during shooting to confine the tonal range of the images. When Florence took over production shooting from 1944 to 1950, she reverted to the chiarascuro lighting of the 1930s. From 1930 to 1950 Vandamm Studio chronicled over 2,000 productions. In their latter years the couple's instinct for what would work on stage became legendary. A frown from Tommy Vandamm foretold dire things, and a smile from Florence was surity of success.”
© David S. Shields
http://broadway.cas.sc.edu/index.php?action=showPhotographer&id=41

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