Yevonde: Life and Colour

National Portrait Gallery. Aug. 2023. 240p. ISBN 9781855145634. $49.95. PHOTOG
Accompanying an exhibition organized by the National Portrait Gallery, UK, this beautifully and extensively illustrated catalogue explores and celebrates the life, work, and influence of British photographer Yevonde Middleton (1893–1975), an innovator in color photography whose long career spanned the pre-WWI era through the 1970s. Her motto was “Be original or die,” and she practiced portraiture, fashion, advertising, and self-portraiture. Chapters showcase Yevonde’s 1930s work for witty and urbane illustrated magazines such as Sketch and the Tatler, and for British Vogue; her groundbreaking use of the lush Vivex color process, a technically demanding method that allowed for creative color manipulation; her portraits of royalty; and one of her best-known bodies of work, the goddesses series, which both reflected and subverted trends in photography and society and continues to influence. Included are a chronology of Yevonde’s life, endnotes, and a bibliography listing titles by Yevonde as well as books on color technique, women in photography, and fashion.
VERDICT With color photography the norm today, it’s fascinating to learn about the work and life of an artist who helped launch color photography.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing