Vintage Celebrity Photos by Francesco Scavullo: No End To Beauty

Celebrity Photos by Francesco Scavullo
Brooke Shields, screenprint color on canvas, 1984

Eighty-nine vintage photographs by renowned celebrity and beauty photographer Francesco Scavullo were auctioned off in a live auction, Francesco Scavullo: No End To Beauty, by Sotheby’s on November 2nd, 2015.

Celebrity Photos by Francesco Scavullo

Scavullo passed away in 2004 at the age of 82 and was survived by his longtime companion Sean Byrne, whose collection these photos are from. Once the hammer came down, almost all the photos sold for far beneath their estimates. The highest paid for one of Christie Turlington (shown below) went for $4000 – $2000 over the high estimate.

CHRISTY TURLINGTON

Model Christy Turlington’s photo garnered the highest price

Only three others sold at prices over the estimate; a photo of model Linda Evangelista, a photo of a very young Brooke Shields, and a photo of drag queen Harris Glenn Milstead, better known as Divine. A good day for art collectors and a lousy one for Sotheby’s, the entire lot, offered with no reserve, garnered $59,270 USD.*

The three photos that sold for more than originally estimated:

LINDA EVANGELISTA

A VERY YOUNG BROOKE SHIELDS (this photo has been cropped, the original was NSFW)

DIVINE (HARRIS GLEN MILSTEAD)

And now, 25 of my personal favorites from the auction.
KIM BASSINGER

MOHAMMAD ALI

DEBBIE HARRY

FAYE DUNAWAY

STING

RUPAUL

LAUREN HUTTON

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

LINDA EVANGELISTA

DICK CAVETT
CANDY DARLING AND SALVADOR DALI

ELIZABETH TAYLOR

BETTE MIDLER

BARBRA STREISAND AND DONNA SUMMER

CARMEN

MICK JAGGER

GRACE KELLY

DAVID BOWIE

RYAN AND TATUM O’NEAL

MADONNA

GRACE JONES

CHER
CHRISTOPHER REEVE

The following text is courtesy of Sotheby’s:
Francesco Scavullo (1921-2004) found beauty everywhere. Through his lens, we experience the dynamic energy of Bruce Jenner, fresh from winning the 1976 men’s decathlon, the ingénue charm of an 11-year-old Brooke Shields, the fearless exposure of Andy Warhol’s Factory stars, and the not-so-subtle sensuality of countless Cosmo cover girls (a magazine that Scavullo shaped for nearly thirty years.) Originally an assistant of the famed fashion photographer Horst P. Horst, Scavullo went on to work for the most celebrated publications of his time, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, and Allure, and publish multiple books of his favourite imagery.

BRUCE JENNER (NOW CAITLYN JENNER)

“Bruce Jenner was a riot. He ran, he jumped, he stood on his head, and had a lively, fun disposition.” – Francesco Scavullo, interviewed by The New York Times

The photographer knew instinctively that beauty wasn’t just something you were born with. It was something to create, to reveal and to capture. Industry insiders described his talent for lighting and styling as “Scavullo-ising.” Gloria Vanderbilt claimed that he had “unerring perception.” But Scavullo had a simpler explanation for how he brought out the best in the people he photographed. “If you make them feel that they’re sensational, they’ll look sensational,” he said in an interview.

CATHERINE DENEUVE

*including buyer’s premium. all information courtesy of Sotheby’s

To see all 89 lots in the auction and the realized prices, visit Sotheby’s here.

Photography Books by Francesco Scavullo on Amazon