C.S. Bull - Greta Garbo

C.S. Bull and Greta Garbo

Andrew Weiss Gallery is pleased to present the Greta Garbo collection by photographer Clarence Sinclair Bull. Bull was born in Michigan and moved to Hollywood when he was hired by Sam Goldwyn in 1920 to photograph publicity stills of the movie stars. Bull later became the head of the stills department for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer when the studio was founded in 1924. During this time, he photographed the most celebrated Hollywood film stars, but he especially known for his shots of actress Greta Garbo, whom he exclusively photographed from 1926 to 1941.
The selection of Garbo images by Bull available at Andrew Weiss Gallery are from the John Kobal Collection. John Kobal was a film historian and collector of old Hollywood film photography who is credited with rediscovering Hollywood film photographers like Clarance Sinclair Bull. Kobal's mission in the 1970s and 80s was to reunite photographers with their original negatives to produce new prints for exhibitions and museums. This collection of photographs of Greta Garbo by Clarence Sinclair Bull were distributed by Edward Weston Editions in California. 
If you would like more information about these pieces please contact us atinfo@andrewweiss.com or 310.246.9333.

Mata Hari

This image, shot by Clarence Sinclair Bull in 1931 and printed later for the John Kobal Collection, was taken to promote Garbo's 1931 film, "Mata Hari".  
On the beginning of their artistic relationship, Bull recalls "that first morning the great Garbo walked into my portrait gallery looking like a frightened  schoolgirl" as she had only worked with one photographer in the 3 years previous. 

Although, as Bull notes, "what she didn't know was that I was just as scared. For three hours I photographed her in every pose and emotion that beautiful face could mirror. At the end of the sitting, which has been without a single break, she said 'I'll do better next time, Mr. Bull. I was quite nervous' I patted her hand and replied, 'So will I"'. 

Susan Lenox

This photograph was taken by Bull to promote Garbo's 1931 film, "Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise)".


 Clarence Sinclair Bull took this image of Garbo in 1929 to promote her 1931 film, "Inspiration".
In Bull's own words, Garbo was his "best subject...having no bad side and no bad angles.  Her rapport with the camera was such that she seems to feel the emotion for each pose as part of her personality."

The Kiss

This photograph was taken by Bull to promote Garbo's 1929 film, "The Kiss". Bull recognized the importance of Garbo's unique eyes and long lashes to her appeal and thus concentrating his lighting to portray only a close up of her face floating on a darkened background, further framed above by the curbed edge of her beret. The images of Garbo in the beret are so strong that they were used for the film poster. 
All of the works listed above, including this one, are blind embossed with the Clarence Sinclair Bull seal and a stamp signature. They are numbered from the edition of 99, plus 5 proofs.