Mainbocher Corset

Photograph
08/1939 (photographed), 15/09/1939 (published), 12/1939 (published)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The German-born photographer Horst P. Horst (real name Horst Bohrmann) began to work for the French Vogue in 1931, a year after his arrival in Paris. He was greatly influenced by his Surrealist contemporaries such as Salvador Dali and Man Ray, using elements of Surrealism in his work.

This photograph was taken on the day he left France for New York, just weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was then published in the French Vogue in December 1939. The dramatic lighting and the body, which is only partially seen, are elements which often occurred in Horst's work and suggest a Surrealist influence.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Horst P. Horst, 'Mainbocher Corset', Corset designed by Detolle for Mainbocher modelled by Madame Bernon. Gelatin silver print, 1939.
Physical Description
Fashion photograph depicting a model wearing a corset. Seen from the back, the model has raised, bent arms and lowers her head to her left shoulder. The corset has back-lacing, the stay ribbons are left partly undone.
Dimensions
  • Paper height: 347mm
  • Paper width: 275mm
  • Image height: 256mm
  • Image width: 200mm
Gallery Label
‘Selling Dreams: One Hundred Years of Fashion Photography’, 2014. Label text: Horst P. Horst (1906–99) Mainbocher Corset Pink satin corset made by Detolle for Mainbocher American Vogue, 1939 With war looming in the late 1930s, many photographers and artists fled Europe for America. Horst later wrote of this, his most iconic image: ‘It was created by emotion … It was the last photo I took in Paris before the war … The photograph is peculiar for me. While I was taking it, I was thinking of all that I was leaving behind.’ Gelatin silver print Museum no. PH.222-1985 (07 03 2014)
Subjects depicted
Summary
The German-born photographer Horst P. Horst (real name Horst Bohrmann) began to work for the French Vogue in 1931, a year after his arrival in Paris. He was greatly influenced by his Surrealist contemporaries such as Salvador Dali and Man Ray, using elements of Surrealism in his work.



This photograph was taken on the day he left France for New York, just weeks before the outbreak of the Second World War. It was then published in the French Vogue in December 1939. The dramatic lighting and the body, which is only partially seen, are elements which often occurred in Horst's work and suggest a Surrealist influence.
Bibliographic References
  • Lawford, Valentine, Horst: His World and His Work, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1984p.184 'Horst: "It was the last photograph I took in Paris before the war. [….] This photograph is perculiar - for me, it is the essence of that moment. While I was taking it, I was thinking of all that I was leaving behind."
  • Wood, Ghislaine (ed.), Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design, London : V & A Publications, 2007p.335
Collection
Accession Number
PH.222-1985

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJanuary 23, 2008
Record URL