A visit to the Queen Mary is always a special occasion for this Writer and so it took no persuasion at all to journey once again to the Grand Lady to view the photography exhibition of George Hurrell. The Late Hurrell is considered one of the best photographers of the last century and his work with Hollywood stars is truly spectacular. Starting in the 1930s and working in black and white Hurrell's wonderful portraits showed film stars at their glamourous best.
His use of light and shadows on his subject brought out their best features and often some of their character as well. Hurrell joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the 1930s and continued his photography work for almost 60 years until his death in 1992.
The exhibition at the Queen Mary displays his work with such legendary Hollywood personalities as Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford (who would not let anyone else photograph her), Clark Gable and Greta Garbo.
Later he opened his own studio on Sunset Boulevard and working with Warner Bros., did remarkable portraits of stars like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and James Cagney. All these photographs and more on included in the exhibition which will continue at the Queen Mary till the end of the year. It has already been extended once by popular demand.
The Queen Mary exhibition is on loan from the Pancho Barnes Trust Estate Archive and many of the photographs have not been seen in half a century. After we viewed the exhibition which is located on the Queen Mary's Sun Deck Gallery we moved to the Observation Bar for cocktails. This was the original First Class lounge when the ship was in service and it stills retains the elegance of an earlier era.
With its Art Deco ambiance and decor it is the perfect way to lounge away a late afternoon or early evening. There is entertainment on weekends but we were there on a week day and so had time to talk about the exhibition over cocktails with our companion. For more information on the Exhibition call 562 435-3511. The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach and is hard to miss.
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