History of photography

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15
History of photography
Adolf de Meyer


Adolf de Meyer (1868-1949) was a Paris born photographer who became world famous for his elegant photographic portraits of famous people. Born to a German father and Scottish mother, he was educated in Dresden, and in 1893 joined the Royal Photographic Society. In 1899, he married Olga Caracciolo, whose godfather was Edward VII. It was a marriage of convenience more than love, as de Meyer was homosexual, and his wife Olga was bisexual. Olga was involved for some time, from 1901 to 1905, in a lesbian affair with wealthy Winnaretta Singer, heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Cecil Beaton once dubbed Adolf de Meyer "the Debussy of photography".

Edward VII's relation to Olga is disputed. There are some that have claimed he was, in truth, her father, having had an affair with her mother. However, there is little truth to that claim, and at most he laid claim to being her "godfather". At Edward VII's request, much due to his association with de Meyer's wife, Olga, Adolf was made baron by Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. In 1914, on the verge of financial ruin due to World War I, he and Olga moved to New York City, where he became a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair. In 1922, de Meyer accepted the offer to become the Harper's Bazaar chief photographer. He returned to Paris, and spent the next sixteen years there. On the eve of World War II, de Meyer returned to the United States, and found that he was a relic in the face of the rising modernism of his art. Today, few of his prints survive, most having been destroyed during World War II.


Mary Pickford

Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la Rose, Paris, 1911

Dolores - Follies + frolics, 1918

Portrait of Mrs. Jacob Astor




Waterlillies - 1907/08

Still Life, Hydrangea - 1907

Still Life with Flowers - 1908

Ann Andrews

Helen Lee

Mmae Murray

Dorothy Smoller

Le comte Etienne de Beaumont

Ann Andrews

Gertrude Vanderbilt


Josephine Baker

Margaret Emma Alice Asquith

From the Shores of the Bosphorus

The Silver Skirt

The Cup

The Silver Cap


Marchesa Casati

Miss J. Rankin

The Nymphenburg Figure



A Street in China

Windows on the Bosphorus

Mrs. Wiggins of Belgrave Square

Ballon Man

Glass and Shadows

The Fountain of Saturn, Versailles, 1912

Un Cantique

Still Life

Still Life

Mrs Brown Potter

Guitar Player of Seville

Study of Gitana

Dance Study

Photograph of Lubov Tchernicheva and Vaslav Nijinsky in L'Apres-midi d'un Faune, Paris, 1911.
Roger Pryor Dodge Collection, Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library