This exhibition explores fashion and street style photography through the eyes of Swiss collector and patron Nicola Erni, who has built one of the most important private collections of fashion photography. It is the first time that this comprehensive collection of more than 250 photographs is being presented in a public institution.
Alongside high fashion photography, originally created for editorial and commercial projects by famous photographers such as Richard Avedon, Tina Barney, Guy Bourdin, Arthur Elgort, Hiro, Horst P. Horst, Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Tyler Mitchell, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn or Cindy Sherman, street style photography will also be on view. This photographic genre, noted for its candid and spontaneous approach to capturing everyday people in their daily, urban lives, is documented in work by renowned artists such as Harry Callahan, Lee Friedlander, Anthony Hernandez, Helen Levitt, Garry Winogrand as well as Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), amongst others.
Rather than showing the works chronologically, High Fashion & Street Style looks at the binding themes and synergies that run through the photographs, dividing the exhibition into twelve sections such as The New Look, Fiction & Fantasy, Unreal, or Unfiltered. In addition to the main sections, High Fashion & Street Style includes backstage material from the world of fashion including portraits of era-defining models and designers that shaped our view of beauty and clothes from the 1930s to the present day. The exhibition will present rare vintage prints, large-format photographs, Polaroids, and original collages.
It is a strongly personal exhibition, which reflects Nicola Erni’s close relationship with a great number of artists. A substantial number of prints are unique and were especially produced for the Nicola Erni Collection or commissioned by her.
A Personal View on High Fashion & Street Style: Photographs from the Nicola Erni Collection, 1930s to Now is organized by the Nicola Erni Collection in collaboration with the Norton Museum of Art. It is made possible by the generosity of the Nicola Erni Collection and the Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation, with additional support provided by the Hartfield Foundation.