The Guardian is running a gallery of New York-based images from the collection of film maker Peter Fetterman, original prints of which will be going to auction at Bonhams. A few of these feature cars, so that’s as good a reason as any to post them here as well.
First up is Girls in Windows, New York City, 1960 by Ormond Gigli.
These days you’d just photoshop something like this, but back then this was all in-camera so to speak. And what a great image! The car is a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud – the shot being dated 1960 means this is either a series 1 with straight six or series 2 with V8.
As old_hat notes in the comments, the album was released 1963, but the Bonhams entry notes it was printed later so I’m guessing that’s where the 1966 comes from.
Looks like a Plymouth Valiant or Dodge Lancer behind the Chevrolet. Truck is a Ford?
The headline movie is The Racers with Kirk Douglas. The US poster is rather uninspiring so here’s the French one with cars included. Haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll catch it one day when I’m too old to get out of my recliner.
No cars here, but it’s one of my favourite ever images. Charles James Dresses, New York, 1948 by Cecil Beaton.
Regarding the Bob Dylan Freewheelin’ pic the truck in question behind the VW T1
I believe is an early ’60s International Loadstar.
The brownstones in “Girls in Windows” (1960) were torn down the next day.
Here’s what’s there now:
Ironic that architecture that was once considered a sign of urban blight and decay, was widely replaced by structures of inferior materials and design. With exorbitant cost now often given as the reason design built with the standards and materials of the original structures isn’t practical.
Thanks Poindexter. That explains how they were able to get someone in each of the windows.
Ormond Gigli did this on a whim, when he learned that the building across from his studio was being torn down the next day. It was done while the workers were on their lunch hour.
“So I had my studio manager go to talk the head demolition guy, and he said ‘yes, but you have to put my wife in the shot!’”
I can’t figure out who the head demolition guy’s wife is, but Gigli’s wife is on the second floor, second from the right (in pink).
Poindexter & BuzzDog, thanks for this background information. I’ve never seen this picture before (despite it being called iconic), and immediately wondered what the backstory was. Glad it was answered in the comments here.
FWIW, the Gigli website calls it “Girls in the Windows” and reports that “Gigli’s wife is on the second floor, far right, and the demolition supervisor’s wife is on the third floor, third from left.”
What an awesome backstory Poindexter!
Typical ’60’s urban renewal, that replacement building is Uuuugleeeeeee!
The Bob Dylan / Suze Rotolo shot is from February 1963 (not ’66). The Freewheelin’ album was released in ’63.
Thanks for that. 66 was Blonde on Blonde, a long ways on from Freewheelin’. I went back to the Guardian gallery then the Bonhams listing and that’s the date they’ve used, likely the date the print was made. I’ve made a note in the text on the discrepancy. Cheers.
I’d say the fourth photo is a 1948 Buick Sedanette. That badge probably says DYNA FLOW with a red background on each side of the center, just like our 1950 Riviera.
Definitely a ’75-’79 Omega in the 1981 photo.
Great topic and imagery Don. Given the flamboyance and bold colours of 1950s fashion and design, I used to lament the serious quality limitations of film and lithographic technology available at the time. And the underwhelming ability to reproduce colour and detail accurately. Alternately, this is what gives images and film in this period, a distinctive look and charm unique to this era. With off skintones and oversaturated colours so commonly used in photography/design to reflect 50s pop culture.
Suspect the famous lead image may have inspired the Physical Graffiti cover design, and countless designers and photographers. I’ve never looked into the background on the album art.
Interesting point Daniel. My personal take is limitations actually feed the creative muse. Some of my favourite design comes from the post-war period in Poland where my feeling is they didn’t have access to some of the technical advances in the west, and as a result developed their own almost unique visual vernacular.
i was thinking the same thing! A great album with their greatest song -‘Kashmir’.
Love that first shot. Well, the others too. Did not really know about Fetterman; thanks for the intro.
I saw that photo online in the Guardian – they really do have a great daily photo section – and assumed it was both a model and recent. Reading then that it was neither makes it a stunner.
Great pictures, the first shot instantly brought to mind a line from a Bob Dylan song.
He just stood there staring
At that big house as bright as any sun
With four and twenty windows
And a womans face in every one.
And there he is in the next shot ! (song not on that record though.)
A lot of those dresses were hiding big brass balls. To be dangling from a window xx stories up took some guts. Still they looked poised. Nice job ladies!
(1940’s American newsreader voice)
“In news just in, it seems our correspondent Don “The Professor” Andreina was not what he made himself out to be. Although it’s hard to believe, it seems, folks, that the Professor was a rotten Third Columnist, that’s right and why yes, a damn Commie, caught red-handed reading a bootleg copy of The Guardian!* The Guardian, I tell you! and worse, he was caught promoting their filthy pictures! We’ll bring further reports of our FORMER colleague as they come to hand. But first, a word from Lucky Strike.”
Pssst! Say, Don! I read this article too, then the link to Bonhams, and spent a chunk of Saturday gazing at this sweet collection. Even tried to interest the kids – who weren’t. More fool them.
It really is a great collection being auctioned, and for you to link it sneakily to a widely-read car site, well, I’m sure there’ll be converts and enquiries by week’s end with this! PS: Please eat this message.
*The Guardian has a name for being pretty leftist.
Truth be told, my favourite daily edition is Friday’s AFR. You just learn to filter out the bias.
Truth also that one is never too old to learn, as I did only about a week ago from a single line uttered by (of all people) a Nationals politician. Obviously, no specifics on this site because it doesn’t belong, but I’ll just say it happened to give a fresh take on an old antagonism, and made this smug bastard face a few biases of his own.
The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in ‘Girls in Windows’ looks like the old Hubley plastic model kit in 1-24th.scale, ca. 1962.It`s been re-released many times. Nice model, even though the interior has no drive shaft tunnel-it`s flat, and the motor detail is molded in one piece.
That 1951 Chevrolet in the background of the Bob Dylan photograph looks great for its age, especially in New York City. Great photos indeed.