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January 11, 2020

Stunning Vintage Portraits From Vanity Fair in the 1920s and 1930s

Before suffering from the casualties of the Great Depression and merged into Vogue in 1936, Vanity Fair was a highly successful society magazine, with 90,000 circulations a day at its peak. It even competed with The New Yorker as the American establishment’s top annals of culture in 1925. A pioneer in the art of celebrity photography, numerous iconic images of prominent figures from business, politics and art societies. Below are 36 stunning portraits of renowned people published by the magazine from the 1920s and the 1930s:

John Barrymore, 1920. Photo by Adolph de Meyer for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Charlie Chaplin, 1921. Photo by Adolph de Meyer for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Tallulah Bankhead, 1923. Photo by Ira L. Hill for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Norma Shearer, 1926. Photo by Charles Sheeler via Condé Nast.

Greta Garbo, 1926. Photo by Arnold Genthe for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.
Rudolph Valentino, 1926. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Self-portrait of photographer Edward Steichen, 1929. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Clara Bow, 1930. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Claudette Colbert, 1930. Photo by Toni Von Horn for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Fredric March, 1930. Photo by Lusha Nelson for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Sergei M. Eisenstein, 1930. Photo by Barré for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

William Powell, 1930. Photo by Barnaba for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Carole Lombard, 1930. Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

William Haines, 1930s. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Joan Crawford, 1931. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Clark Gable, 1931. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Gloria Swanson, 1931. Photo by Toni Von Horn for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Anna May Wong, 1931. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Josephine Baker, 1931. Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Winston Churchill, 1932. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Josef von Sternberg, 1932. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Cecil Beaton, 1933. Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Fred Astaire, 1933. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Myrna Loy, 1933. Photo by George Hurrell for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Leopold Stokowski, 1933. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Gary Cooper, 1934. Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Spencer Tracy, 1934. Photo by Imogen Cunningham for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Leslie Howard, 1934. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Katharine Hepburn, 1934. Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

James Cagney, 1934. Photo by George Hoyningen-Huene for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Clifton Webb, 1934. Photo by Lusha Nelson for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Thomas Mann, 1934. Photo by Edward Steichen for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Jean Harlow, 1935. Photo by George Hurrell for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Bette Davis, 1935. Photo by Maurice Goldberg for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Louis Armstrong, 1935. Photo by Anton Bruehl for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.

Cesar Romero, 1935. Photo by Lusha Nelson for Vanity Fair via Condé Nast.




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