In Vibrant Color: Vintage Celebrity Portraits from the Harry Warnecke Studio

March 2, 2012 – September 9, 2012

National Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC

2nd Floor, North Floor Plan

Well before color reproductions and color snapshots became commonplace, pioneering photographer Harry Warnecke (1903–1984) and his associates at the New York Daily News created brilliant, eye-popping color portraits for the newspaper’s Sunday News magazine. Employing a special one-shot camera of his own design, Warnecke began producing color images for the Daily News in the 1930s by utilizing the technically demanding tricolor carbro process—the first practical method for color photography. Over the next three decades, Warnecke and his team photographed hundreds of people, from popular film stars and athletes to military leaders and government officials. Drawing from the museum’s collection of large-format, tricolor carbro photographs by the Warnecke Studio, this exhibition features 24 celebrity portraits from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, including Lucille Ball, Jackie Robinson, Babe Didrikson, Gene Autry, Ethel Waters, Generals Eisenhower and Patton, and comedians W. C. Fields and Laurel and Hardy.