In an undated image, photographer Ewa Rudling captures model Chantal Dumont striding across the Alexandre III bridge, in a moment that represents classic Paris. “By the 1960s, fashion photography had moved out of the studio and onto the streets, creating images more akin to moody reportage,” according to Getty.(Ewa Rudling / Getty Images Condé Nast Collection)
In 1909, Condé Montrose Nast bought then 17-year-old Vogue magazine and established Condé Nast Publications. A few years later, it began publishing Dress & Vanity Fair (quickly shortened to its current title). In the roughly hundred years since, photographers have been snapping away for these and other Condé Nast titles, capturing politicians, celebrities, fashion, cultural icons, and moments of daily life.
Most of those photos were never published. A photographer might take 100 pictures, while a magazine would use only the one that best fit the needs of the moment. Condé Nast originally referred to its archive, which currently holds more than 1.5 million photographs, as the “morgue.” Now, it has partnered with Getty Images to make upwards of 30,000 images from that archive available online. The first of the Getty Images Condé Nast Collection becomes available today (March 25)—through license to Getty subscribers, though a spokesperson says some will be available “a-la-carte, without a subscription.”
More than 20,000 images have already been delivered. The big draws, of course, are works from Vogue and Vanity Fair. Shawn Waldron, archive director at Condé Nast, and Bob Ahern, Getty’s director of archival images, revealed a curated peek of 43 photographs yesterday. Among them were photos of figures from James Baldwin to Coco Chanel, and the photographers represented included a number of famous names, such as Horst P. Horst, Robert Frank, and Patrick Demarchelier.
“There’s so much out there that isn’t scanned,” Ahern told Quartz. “No one really gets access. To partner with Condé Nast to be able to put those pictures on a platform and distribute them is exciting.”
Here are a few highlights from the collection, and information on each from Getty.
Horst P. Horst first met Coco Chanel in New York in 1937, and would go on to shoot her and her fashion for some 30 years. This frame, discovered in a box that had not been touched for decades, reflects a long standing friendship—an informal portrait of the grand dame of fashion at home.(Horst P. Horst / Getty Images Condé Nast Collection)
An early color and glamour close-up from 1948. Getty says there were originally alternate versions of this frame they considered for the collection. But “the directness of the model’s look—something almost challenging”—kept them looking back.(Herbert Matter / Getty Images Condé Nast Collection)
Photographer Robert Frank, best known for his seminal post-war photo book, “The Americans,” captures “writer and activist James Baldwin seated with cigarette in 1963—the year in which Baldwin, along with thousands, would march on Washington,” Getty says.(Robert Frank / Getty Images Condé Nast Collection)
“This image shot by Horst in 1953 is a wonderful example of his stunning work in color,” Getty tells Quartz. It was shot on large format 10×8 film.(Horst P. Horst / Getty Images Condé Nast Collection)