Baron Adolph de Meyer

Born in Paris, and educated in Dresden, Adolph de Meyer spent the early part of his career working in Europe – where he photographed characters like the acclaimed dancer, Nijinsky, and the outrageous Italian socialite, Luisa Casati. With the onset of the First World War, de Meyer fled to the states – where in 1913 he became the first staff photographer for both Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines. Nearly a decade later, he returned to Paris to work as the chief photographer for Vogue rival, Harper’s BazaarCecil Beaton once referred to him as “the Debussy of photography”, and with one look at his dreamy and romantic photographic portraits, it’s easy to see why. I have always loved the dreaminess of Adolph’s photographs – the diffused quality of light, and the warm greys. Here are a few of my favorites.

Marchesa Luisa Casati, photographed in Venice, 1912


Marchesa Luisa Casati, photographed in Venice, 1912


Rita de Acosta Lydig, 1913


Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, photographed in 1917 for Vogue


Helen Lee Worthing, Ziegfeld Follies star, photographed in 1920 for Vanity Fair


Anna Pavlova, photographed in 1921 for Vanity Fair


Dinarzade, Ziegfeld Follies star, 1921


Gloria Swanson, 1921


Mrs. Walter Tower Rosen, photographed in 1922 for Harper’s Bazaar


Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, photographed in 1923 for Harper’s Bazaar


Elizabeth Arden advertisement, 1927


Elizabeth Arden advertisement, 1927


Harper’s Bazaar, September 1931