Photographer, Mark Shaw is best known for his extraordinary work documenting family scenes of the J.F. Kennedy's, capturing the private glamour of America's Camelot. Prior to his work with the Kennedy's, Shaw was renowned for defining an era with his much-lauded but long-forgotten fashion photography.
Shaw was afforded an unusual proximity to the models and designers of the 1950's and 1960's, allowing for a rare look behind the highly stylized presentation of fashion in the period. His work allows the viewer a true sense of the humanity behind what became archetypes of glamour.
Mark Shaw is best known for his photographs of Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy, which he shot originally for LIFE magazine and later as the Kennedys' "unofficial" family photographer. He developed a strong friendship with JFK and Jackie and regularly visited the White House during their time there.
After JFK's death, a selection of Mark Shaw’s photographs was published as a best selling book, The John F. Kennedy's: A Family Album. The book was re-published in 2000 by Rizzoli with new additions, including never before seen color images. Mark Shaw also contributed to two other books: The Catch and the Feast features his photographs of wild game, both live and cooked; Messenger of Peace is a photo journal of Pope Paul Vl’s visit to the United States.
Most recently, Mark Shaw's images of the Kennedys were widely used in Jacqueline Kennedy: the White House Years, an exhibition of Jackie's clothing which started at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and traveled around the country to other museums. In 2005, the Marshall Fields department store in Chicago hosted an extensive show of Mark Shaw’s Kennedy photographs to coincide with the "White House Years" stop at the Field Museum.
Mark Shaw began working for LIFE in 1952. In his 16 years with the magazine, he shot 27 covers, more than 100 stories which included the magazine's European fashion collections. As a leading fashion photographer, he also worked for Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle and a host of other publications. He was one of the first photographers to use color when shooting the runways and "backstage" at the couture shows. In 2004, some of these photographs were featured in an exhibit at the Andrew Wilder Gallery at Svenska Mobler in Chicago. The show sold out in less than two weeks. Subsequent exhibitions of these images in New York and Los Angeles, were equally successful—a testament to Mark Shaw's reputation as one of the top fashion photographers of his era.
Some of Mark Shaw's most beautiful work was shot for Vanity Fair's lingerie advertising campaign. This series of images was created over a ten-year period. It garnered yearly recognition by the prestigious Art Director's club. In his later years, Mark Shaw began filming commercials for television, which also won him several awards.
The celebrities Mark Shaw photographed for LIFE and other publications included: Pablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Danny Kaye, Cary Grant, Yves St. Laurent, Nico of the Velvet Underground and Coco Chanel. His photographs of Audrey Hepburn, originally shot for LIFE in 1953, will be the subject of a soon-to-be-published book. The Audrey Hepburn negatives had been lost after Mark Shaw’s death, and were only found in 2006.
Mark Shaw worked as a top print advertising photographer until his untimely death in 1969 at the age of 47. After his death, most of his work was hastily put into storage. All but a small number of photographs remained unseen for almost 30 years. In 1999, his only child, David Shaw, and David's wife, Juliet Cuming, moved the collection to Vermont, where they now maintain the archive of Mark's extensive body of work.
Couture in Paris Courtyard, 1955
Pictured here is a model in the 17th century house where Manon Lescaut once lived, then owned by Suzanne Luling, directrice of Dior in Paris, 1960.
Pictured here a model wears a Dior gown in the 17th century house where Manon Lescaut once lived, then owned by Suzanne Luling, directrice of Dior in Paris, 1960.
Pictured here a smoking model wears a Dior gown in the 17th century house where Manon Lescaut once lived, then owned by Suzanne Luling, directrice of Dior in Paris, 1960.
Model in Corvette-New York ca. 1960
In a 1961 fashion shoot for LIFE, 1920’s style fashions are photographed in front of a backdrop showing a scene from a silent movie
Photograph of models in Nina Ricci couture in front of a black and white backdrop of Josephine Baker, as captured by Mark Shaw in Paris in 1961.
Photograph of models in Nina Ricci couture in front of a black and white silent movie backdrop, as captured by Mark Shaw in Paris in 1961.
A model wearing a Dior suit in the Paris apartment of legendary interior designer Henri Samuel in 1960.
Model in Mesh Hat-Paris 1960
Model in Teal in Paris Residence 1960
Salon of Balenciaga-ca. 1950
Model on the Beach, Deauville, ca. 1950
Chicken Ballerina-ca. 1950
Nico with Mirror, 1960
Nico with Strawberry, 1960
Pictured here is Nico who went on to be the lead chanteuse of "The Velvet Underground" as a young model in Paris. She is posing with a pair of dachshunds in the apartment of legendary Parisian interior designer Henry Samuel.
Photographed in 1953 at the French country estate, Corbeville, Jane Sprague models a ball gown by Jacques Fath.
Dior Fur Hat, 1950s
This photo is one of a series taken by Shaw early in his career when he was doing significant work in the fashion world
Early Black & White Studio Outtake - 1950's
Mark Shaw - Backstage at Balmain- Paris, 1954
Christian Dior Couture Show 1954
Backstage at Nina Ricci- Paris, 1959
Pictured here is London post debutante Henrietta Tiarks with designer Jules Francois Crahay at the salon of Nina Ricci in Paris in 1959.
Salon of Balenciaga- Paris, 1954
A magical moment is captured by Mark Shaw in the salon of Balenciaga in Paris in 1954. Here a model poses for American buyers from I Magnin department store in signature Orange Coat
More photos of Audrey Hepburn by Mark Shaw
Audrey Hepburn: Recently Uncovered Photographs
Brigette Bardot, 1956
Coco Chanel, 1957
Yves Saint Laurent
Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy
Official Mark Shaw's site
source of photos here