Past Exhibition

Douglas Kirkland

Coco Chanel 1962


Curated by James Cavello

In 1962, at the age of 27, Kirkland received an assignment from Look Magazine to photograph Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971) for a story on the legendary fashion icon. For a period of three weeks, Kirkland shadowed Mademoiselle Chanel capturing her intense schedule and daily routine with models, fitters, clients and friends. In order to gain her trust and approval, Chanel instructed Kirkland to initially photograph models wearing her collection and submit the prints for her review. Chanel was so taken with the young man and his photographic skill; she allowed him access to her private rooms, surveying her everyday movements. In addition to fashion images, Kirkland and Chanel took a day trip to Versailles resulting in surreal photographs of the 'grande dame' appropriately set in the royal gardens. Coco Chanel revolutionized women's fashion with creations and style, including the 'little black dress', Chanel's signature cardigan jacket, women's casual wear, non-corseted fashions, quilted handbags, short hairstyles, mixing real and costume jewelry, and many other styles and trends, as well as Chanel No. 5, the world's best selling perfume. In many images Chanel is wearing her trademark hat and pearls, scissors hanging from a ribbon around her neck and smoking constantly while she works. Chanel did not sketch her designs so her creations took effect while draping fabric directly on the models. Coco Chanel was the epitome of a strong, independent woman, never married, who struggled yet persevered with a passion that consumed her throughout her life.

The negatives of these photographs have been in the well-known photographer's vault for the past 46 years, and have never been exhibited before. The exhibition of 40 photographs represents a documentation of intimate and public moments of a woman who transformed 20th century fashion. Today, at 80 years old, Kirkland remembers with great fondness and admiration the days spent with Coco Chanel. His photographs provide a personal view of this extraordinary individual, the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century.

About the artist

Douglas Kirkland started his career in 1957 as an apprentice to photographer Irving Penn and was hired by Look Magazine as a photojournalist. Since then, he has completed scores of projects and books, and his fine art photographs have been widely exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States, in both galleries and museums. In 2002 Kirkland was named 'Photographer of the Year' by PhotoImaging, Manufacturing and Distributor's Association (PMDA). He is the recipient of the 2003 Lucie Award for 'Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment Photography', as well as receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Motion Picture Society of Operating Cameramen. In 2006 he was awarded The Golden Eye of Russia and also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from CAPIC in his native Toronto, Canada. In 2007, Douglas received an Honorary Master of Fine Arts Degree form Brooks Institute for his commitment and dedication to his profession.

Douglas Kirkland's photographs have been on view and/or are in the collection of the following museums and institutions in the US and internationally: The Annenberg Space for Photography, Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, OH), Huntington Museum of Art (Huntington, WV), The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, (Halifax,Canada), Fine Arts Center Colorado Springs, Chicago Cultural Center, Saginaw Art Museum (Saginaw, MI), The Glenbow Museum (Calgary, CANADA), The Winnipeg Art Gallery (Manitoba, Canada), Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA), HMCP Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Museum of the Triennial in Milan, The Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery in London, Eastman House in Rochester.

Photographs © Douglas Kirkland

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2013 - Douglas Kirkland’s 50-Year Love Affair with Photography, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL

  • 2012 - An Evening With Marilyn , Westwood Gallery, NYC

  • 2011 - Coco Chanel, 1962 , The Rotunda in Exchange Square Central, Hong Kong. Curated by James Cavello, Westwood Gallery

  • 2011 - Coco Chanel, 1962, Chanel Nexus Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Curated by James Cavello, Westwood Gallery

  • 2010 - Douglas Kirkland, My Life in Pictures, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia

  • 2010 - Douglas Kirkland Retrospective, Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy

  • 2009 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada

  • 2009 - Fashion and Fame: A Photographic Exhibition, Bangkok, Thailand

  • 2009 - Coco Chanel, 1962 , Chanel Boutique, Waikiki, Honolulu, HI. Curated by James Cavello, Westwood Gallery

  • 2008 - Freeze Frame, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills, CA

  • 2008 - Coco Chanel, 1962 , Westwood Gallery, NYC

  • 2007 - Freeze Frame , Westwood Gallery, NYC

  • 2006 - Cinema Moments, An Intimate Look Behind the Scenes with Douglas Kirkland, Cedro26 Galleria Fotografica, Rome, Italy

  • 2005 - An Evening with Marilyn, Westwood Gallery, NYC

  • 1990 - Douglas Kirkland’s Light Years: Three Decades Photographing Among the Stars, International Center of Photography, NYC

  • 1965 - The Photo Essay, Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Group Exhibitions

  • 2015 - Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.

  • 2015 - Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, National Portrait Gallery, London

  • 2011 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

  • 2010 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, Museum of Contamporary Art, Jacksonville, FL

  • 2009 - L8S ANG3LES, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA

  • 2009 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada

  • 2008 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw, MI

  • 2008 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL

  • 2008 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO

  • 2007 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada

  • 2007 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IA

  • 2007 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV

  • 2007 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

  • 2006 - Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe , Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL

  • 1987 - A Day in the Life of America, Nikon House, NY, NY

  • The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills, CA

  • National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

  • National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, King Edward Terrace, Parkes, Australia

  • George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

  • Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX

  • Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, CA

  • Southeast Museum of Photography at Daytona College

  • Freeze Frame: Second Cut, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • A Life in Pictures: The Douglas Kirkland Monograph

  • When We Were Young, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Come Una Pin Up, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • With Marilyn: An Evening 1961, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Michael Jackson: The Making of “Thriller” , Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland. Text by Karl Lagerfeld

  • Coco Chanel: Three Weeks, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Freeze Frame, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • An Evening with Marilyn, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Mother and Child: Wildlife Photography, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland and Reg Grundy

  • Legends, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Body Stories, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • James Cameron’s Titanic, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Showgirls: Portrait of a Film, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland. Text by Paul Verhoeven

  • Icons: Creativity With Camera and Computer, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland

  • Light Years: 3 Decades of Photography Among the Stars, Photographs by Douglas Kirkland