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New York: Ira L Hill    Nov 19, '09 3:57 AM
by Vlad for group historicalziegfeldgroup #169

Ira L. Hill
Time Period: 1907-1947
Location: 463 6th Street, New York City

“His early success had to do with the rustic painted backdrops employed in his studio shots. Using soft focus, he made a sitter appear as though lounging in a Gainsborough glade. Theater producers were attracted to the aesthetic aura of his portraits and in 1913 began sending actresses for publicity shots to his studio, then located at 463 6th Avenue. After 1915, the influence of Baron De Meyer, caused Hill to design the ensemble of his shots with more exquisite taste and with fashionable dress and furnishings. He rarely shot performers in character, and devoted himself increasingly to fashion work and society portraiture in the 1920s.
…Hill did not use the soft focus atmospheres of the art photographers, or the Rembrandt lighting that the early glamourists employed. Rather, he fashioned images of privilege--rural otium, or great house holiday. He preferred full length portraits in fancy dress, and so became one of the favorite fashion photographers of the second decade of the 20th century. Ziegfeld used him until back paintings seemed old-fashioned--circa 1923. Hill, however, remained the foremost Society portraitist in the city until his death in 1947.”
© David S. Shields.

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