An exhibition titled, British Royal Portraits by Mario Testino, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is set to open in October. It will contain a selection of self-curated images and include several photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Testino is no stranger to the British Royal family.
Shortly after the photographer went to England from his native Peru in 1976, he took his first photograph of British royalty, an impromptu shot of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and her grandson, Prince Edward, as they passed by crowds gathered in London’s streets to celebrate the marriage of HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. It was the first of many photographs Testino has taken of members of the House of Windsor during the course of his significant career. “Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits” showcases images of the royal family, from Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles, to their sons, William and Harry. His most recent commission was the iconic engagement portraits revealing Prince William and Kate Middleton in both casual and formal poses. Now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge the works will be exhibited along with other familiar images. This will be the first showing of many of these photographs in the US.
Testino’s first published photo was for Vogue. It was a small snapshot of a hair salon—the kind of thumbnail you might easily flip past if the text wasn’t interesting. Fast forward nearly 30 years, a few Gucci campaigns, a Royal engagement portrait or two, and add a record at the National Portrait Gallery and it’s about time for an official Mario Testino career retrospective.
The fabled portrait photography of Peruvian-born Testino, cultivated by Princess Diana and Carine Roitfeld has been documented before here and here. But beginning October 31, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) will allow fashion disciples and photography wonks alike to ponder 125 hand-selected photos of the rock stars, celebrities and dignitaries who have sat for Testino’s magic lens. Call it Mario’s favorite photos. And there are a lot to choose from. Among them: images of models Kate Moss and Gisele Bündchen; actors Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, and Gwyneth Paltrow; musicians Mick Jagger, Madonna, and Lady Gaga; and athletes David Beckham and Tom Brady.
The MFA will display the images in “provocative visual stories” such that they “capture the interplay of mass media, celebrity, and glamour.” And to satiate your wedding-of-the-century withdrawal, an accompanying exhibit will feature images of the royal family, photographed by Testino, including the engagement portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton. It will be the first U.S. showing of many of the portraits, which is sure to contain all of the elements of a popular who. Prepare for the long queues.
Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits
October 21, 2012—June 16, 2013
Herb Ritts Gallery
The Herb Ritts Gallery at the BMFA serves the charitable purposes of the Herb Ritts Foundation’s focus on two main objectives. First, it is continuing Herb’s longstanding support of HIV/AIDS research. The Foundation is instrumental in helping fund organizations that provide assistance and care for individuals with HIV and AIDS. It is equally important for the Foundation to advocate continued awareness of AIDS and its devastating impact on all continents, with an emphasis on how we can all contribute to finding a cure for this disease.
The Foundation’s second objective is to support Herb’s great passion for photography and other forms of art. It offers assistance to institutions with education programs that advance the art of photography. With the great success of the ‘Work’ exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Herb felt it essential to have the Foundation fund future museum exhibitions of photography and other visual art forms.
In addition to the Foundation’s charitable work, it is responsible for maintaining Herb’s legacy by organising exhibitions of his work, publishing books and catalogues, preserving the archive of editioned prints and maintaining the integrity of the editions established during his lifetime. The net revenue proceeds from the sales of Herb Ritts’ work is being used to support and insure the directives of the Foundation and its future contributions.