Peter Gowland in Cologne


Venetia Stephenson, ca. 1955-1960 - Foto © Peter Gowland

The myth of Southern California as a sunny, fleshly manifestation of the modern American Dream was contributed to, in part, by the alluring photography of Peter Gowland (1916–2010). Beginning right after the end of the war, in 1946, Gowland began taking photographs of young women that he found on Hollywood film sets, at beauty contests, or through agencies, both in his studio and on the sandy white beaches that curled up from Los Angeles and around Malibu. By 1954, the New York Times had dubbed him ‘America’s No. 1 Pin-up Photographer’. ‘I try to make a nude look like she’s got clothes on,’ Gowland once explained, ‘I prefer to cover, and glamorise and make things exciting.’ Now some 200 of his best pictures have gone on display in Cologne, bringing the bright, hopeful America of the 1940s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s back, however briefly, to life.

More information at: MAKK