SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film presents Horst P. Horst: Essence of the Times

  • ATLANTA, Georgia
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  • October 07, 2022

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Horst P. Horst The Essence of the Times at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
courtesy of Horst estate

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film presents Horst P. Horst: Essence of the Times

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, OCTOBER 2022 - The Savannah College of Art and Design is thrilled to mount the exhibition Essence of the Times at SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, opening Oct. 6. The exhibition highlights the illustrious career of Horst P. Horst, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, presenting more than 80 significant works spanning seven decades, including vintage and never-before-seen prints of Horst’s revered fashion editorials, brand photography, and portraiture.

“Celebrated by Madonna in her unforgettable music video for “Vogue” in 1990, Horst created an unparalleled aspirational universe teeming with beauty, grace, and style beloved by icons and imitators,” said SCAD president and founder Paula Wallace. "Each photograph tantalizes, captivates the eye, and ignites the imagination with what lies in the shadows. He was the Cher of photography, a one-named legend whose work will astound you—so don’t miss “Horst P. Horst: Essence of the Times.”"

Curated by Rafael Gomes, creative director of SCAD FASH museums, in collaboration with the Horst Estate and esteemed art collector and enthusiast Gert Elfering and Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque, curator of The Art and Design Proj- ect Gallery, Miami, Essence of the Times is the most important survey of Horst’s work in the U.S. to date. Featuring mesmerizing images charting the breadth of Horst’s career — from his early dreamy, surrealist still lifes for Vogue in the 1930s to his suggestive palladium prints from the 1980s and era-defining portraits of the early 1990s —the exhibition showcases his expert eye in cap- turing icons of fashion, film, and high society including Carmen Dell’Orrifice, Diana Vreeland, Elsa Schiaparelli, Diane von Furstenberg, Elsa Peretti, Vivien Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dalí, Gloria Vanderbilt, Iman, Patrick Kelly, Yves Saint Laurent, and Halston, among others.

“The Horst Estate is excited to welcome audiences to this wonderful exhibition that honors Horst P. Horst as an artist with exceptional taste and remarkable talent,” said Elfering, who leads the estate. “Fashion was the predominant pillar of his oeuvre, but it should not be reduced to fashion alone — ‘lifestyle’ is more accurate, and this important distinction is reflected in Essence of the Times. Our heartfelt thanks go to SCAD, Rafael Gomes, and Juan Carlos Arcila-Duque from The Art Design Project Gallery who have so thoughtfully presented this extraordinary exhibition.”

Born Paul Albert Bohrmann, Horst (German-American, 1906–1999) is celebrated for striking, unforget- table images with unique compositions that assimilate tenets of surrealism and classicism. With his first Vogue cover in 1935, he redefined the possibilities of fashion photography, inspiring a shift from hand-drawn illustrations to the full embrace of film by fashion magazines. Throughout his career, Horst was sought after for his meticulous attention to detail and highly stylized aesthetic, with dramatic lighting and theatrical poses.

Horst originally studied furniture making and carpentry under the tutelage of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus School, before moving to Paris to apprentice for the renowned architect Le Corbusier. In Paris, he met George Hoyningen-Huene, the star photographer at French Vogue. Hoyningen-Huene became Horst’s mentor, inviting him into the elite creative circle of 1930s Paris. When Hoyningen- Huene left Vogue in 1935, Horst took over the role of photographer-in-chief, ultimately creating hundreds of vibrant images for the publication across his 30-year tenure. During this period, Horst expertly transitioned from black-and-white photography to new color processes and was admired and supported by important members of the fashion world such as legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. In the 1960s, encouraged by Vreeland, Horst began a series of photos illustrating the lifestyles of international high society figures including Consuelo Vanderbilt, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Duchess of Windsor, Gloria Guinness, Baroness Pauline de Rothschild, and others. Equally embraced by the art world, Horst began exhibiting in major galleries in 1932. His work has been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions, including retrospectives at the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A in London and the International Center of Photography in New York, as well as featured in elegant monographs and other significant volumes. In 1989, Horst received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and, in 1996, he received the Master of Photography Award from the International Center for Photography.

“We are proud of our ongoing partnership with the Horst Estate,” said Arcila-Duque, curator of The Art Design Project Gallery. “Essence of the Times is a jewel, showcasing the many facets of Horst’s magnificent work and enduring influence.”

Students from many of the university’s top-ranked degree programs — including photography, fashion, interior design, advertising, luxury and brand management, art history, and graphic design — will have the opportunity to interact with the curators through special programming including gallery tours and exclusive conversations.

“Horst P. Horst is respected not only for his expertise behind the camera lens but for his commitment as an artist to meticulously curating every detail in his beautiful and artful imagery,” said Gomes. “It is such an important moment for our students to be able to learn from one of photography’s greatest practitioners and engage with Horst’s historic body of work.”

Essence of the Times is on view Oct. 6, 2022, through April 16, 2023. For more information, visit

Scottie Albertson

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
1600 Peachtree Street NW
Atlanta, Georgia
(404) 253-3132
About SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film celebrates fashion as a universal language, garments as important conduits of identity, and film as an immersive and memorable medium of popular culture. Situated within SCAD Atlanta, the museum presents dynamic exhibitions, captivating films, and enticing events that mine the rich and storied legacies of fashion history to inspire contemporary designers and future innovations. Supported by the university’s strong global presence and connections to renowned contemporary fashion designers, filmmakers, and creative professionals around the world, SCAD FASH is an integral part of the SCAD educational experience. Like the award-winning SCAD Museum of Art, SCAD FASH serves as a creative resource for students of all ages and a wellspring of inspiration for visitors. Through programming that engages the university’s broad array of academic disciplines, SCAD FASH offers diverse exhibitions, films, installations, performances, and events to enliven and inspire the greater community year-round. Each program is designed to engage and appeal to visitors with varied backgrounds and interests, from textiles and jewelry to photography and film. Past exhibitions have featured the work of designers Ruth E. Carter, Azzedine Alaïa, Pierre Cardin, Carolina Herrera, Mary Katrantzou, Guo Pei, and Oscar de la Renta. Photographic exhibitions have featured the work of Albert Watson, Jonathan Becker, Bill Cunningham, and Omar Victor Diop. Exhibitions are accompanied by curated film series that complement programming. Past films include Pierre Cardin: Le Futur, The First Monday in May, Funny Face, The Leopard, and Ovation for Oscar, among others. For more information, visit

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