Douglas Kirkland

Elegance and Myth

In 1962 Douglas Kirkland spent 21 days with Chanel in her apartment in the Ritz, at the studio preparing for a catwalk show, and on a weekend trip to Versailles. He was going to document the daily life of the most famous stylist of all the times. He succeeded in taking a series of photographs that showed a new side of the formidable and brilliant “Mademoiselle”.

As Judith Thurman pointed out in the foreword of the book Coco Chanel Three Weeks:

They make an unlikely couple: innocence and experience. He is twenty-seven, but he looks like a kid (a handsome kid) who has put a suit on for the first time. She is seventy-nine, but she wears her wrinkles the way she wears her Chanel suit: with defiant elegance…When the young photographer on his second trip abroad met the intimidating grand dame who, at first, ignored him, he could not have known that his career would be as long as hers (six decades and in his case still continuing)… Chanel was a haughty, baroque, character (…) her genius was for simplicity, and to achieve simplicity, you have to trust your instincts. That is what she saw – and trusted- in Douglas Kirkland. He shoots from the heart.



The number and the size of the photographs can be adapted to specific curatorial projects and the structure of the venue

Number of photographs: 60 B&W photographs

Size: photographs can be printed up to a maximum of 150×100 cm

Douglas Kirkland is an award-winning celebrity photographer. He joined Look Magazine in his early twenties, then Life Magazine during the golden age of photojournalism in the 1960s and 1970s. He simultaneously contributed to other major publications around the world, including The London Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times Magazine and Town & Country among many others.
Between 1960 and present, Douglas Kirkland photographed over 2,000 assignments and more than 600 major celebrities — from Marilyn Monroe to Angelina Jolie. During the same period he worked on the sets of more than 150 motion pictures, including The Sound of Music (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Out of Africa (1985) Titanic (1997) Moulin Rouge (2000), Australia (2007), The Great Gatsby (2011), and The 33 in 2014.
His publications include: Freeze Frame: 5 Decades/50 Years/400 Photographs; Icons; Legends and Douglas Kirkland – A Life in Pictures; Freeze Frame – Second Cut.
His photographs have been exhibited throughout the world and are included in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery in London, The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra Australia, the Smithsonian Museum, the Eastman House, the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane Australia and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences among others.
During his career he won numerous awards and in the summer of 2015, he received a special Nastro D’Argento (Silver Ribbon) at the International Taormina Film Festival.