Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays - On the Bedside Table

November 7, 2015 is the "official book launch" day for Mary Mallory and Karie Bible's lovely photobook Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays.  They are kicking things off with a book signing at Larry Edmunds Bookstore on Hollywood Blvd (see flyer below for more info).  If you are local, please do yourself a favor and go visit and get a copy autographed by the authors.  If you are not local, you can order a copy of amazon.

The book is chockablock filled with an array of rare images, each targeting a specific holiday.  From the very beginning, in Hollywood, everything newsworthy about the films and the stars was about promotion.  Ultimately to get the public into the theater to see the product, promote the stars and/or buy the magazines.

Janet Gaynor graces a 1928 Photoplay magazine holiday cover

 The book is laid out in chronological order, by holiday (New Years Eve, Valentine's Day, etc.) and the period covered begins in the 1910's up through the early 1970s.  A mix of black and white and color, the book is a delight to the eye.  

One of my favorite images (I googled this one, so the quality is crappy) is of nearly forgotten star Mary Miles Minter in costume for Halloween.  This photo does not do justice to the image quality you will see in the book.

Mary Miles Minter in a great Halloween costume circa 1920

This gives me the change to tell you the artistry of Mark Vieira is present because he did all of the image work, photoshop correcting and the like.  This means the images look as good as they possible can.  He also contributed lovely Hurrell-style portraits of the co-authors for the book.  

Hollywood celebrated the holidays, primarily, with women stars.  It's hard to find too many of the great male stars of the various eras.  Then as now, it's the ladies cheesecake that sell the product.  Might seem kind of sexist, but, the photographs are so endearing and charming, you can't really come up with an argument against them!

Many of the top photgraphers in Hollywood  are represented here, Witzel, Hoover, Hartsook and Evans in the early silent days, Eugene Robert Richee, Otto Dyar, Freulich, Hurrell, Ted Allan in the 20's 30s and 40's.

This is a very comprehensive look at the marketing of holidays and, sometimes, the tie in with merchandise for the season.  There is not much text (each photo is fully captioned), it's a pleasureable compact coffee table book.  If you love classic Hollywood and enjoy beautiful and some just plain fun photographs, this book is for you.  The art of classic Hollywood portrature has been well represented by books on Ruth Harriet Louise, Hurrell as well as and in genres such as pre-code and horror, this book fills a niche not examined elsewhere.  It also makes, yes, an ideal gift for Xmas!  

It's quite lavish, image wrap hardback and had a nice feel and look to it.  I'm happy to add this to the home library and I will bet you will too!  Plush!


Popular Posts