In a career that spanned seven decades, Norman Parkinson dazzled the world with his sparkling inventiveness as a fashion photographer. His long association with Vogue, and his numerous assignments for Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country and other international magazines, brought him worldwide recognition. His impulsive and unstructured style changed forever the static, posed approach to fashion photography, while his enchanting, idiosyncratic persona charmed his sitters and projected an alluring and glamorous public image. Standing at 6 feet 5 inches tall, Parkinson was unable to remain unobtrusive behind the lens and instead created "Parks", the moustachioed, ostentatiously elegant fashion photographer - as much a personality as those who sat for him, and frequently more flamboyant. His flawless professionalism, manners, and well-rehearsed eccentricities reassured the uneasy sitters and disarmed the experienced.
Parks reinvented himself for each decade of his career, from his ground-breaking spontaneous images of the 1930s, through the war years and the Swinging Sixties to the exotic locations of the 1970s and 1980s. By the end of his life (he died on location in 1990) he had become a household name, the recipient of a CBE, a photographer to the royal family, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and the subject of a large-scale retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Parkinson was an incisive portraitist and photographed many of the greatest icons as well as some of the world's most beautiful women, including Jerry Hall, Iman, Audrey Hepburn and Ava Gardner, among many others. Shining through his work is Park's inimitable wit and style, and his unique eye for glamour and beauty.
Visit the Norman Parkinson Archive