An outstanding archive of fashion and celebrity portraits by the photographer Francesco Scavullo from the collection of his partner, stylist Sean Byrnes, will hit Sotheby’s online auction block next month – without reserve.
Earlier this year, our hearts leapt at the thought of purchasing a piece of fashion history when one of Kate Moss’ earliest shoots hit the online auction block. But we’ve got a lot more saving up to do, because on November 2, Sotheby’s will auction over 80 intimate images of celebrities, drag queens, athletes, and icons from legendary portrait photographer Francesco Scavullo’s dynamic archive.
Titled ‘Francesco Scavullo: No End to Beauty’, the auction spans four decades of Scavullo’s studio portraits. Born in New York in 1921, Scavullo spent roughly 30 years shooting Cosmopolitan’s cover girls, and this effortless glamour is well represented. The lot includes jaw-dropping shots of supermodels Lauren Hutton, Jerry Hall, Linda Evangelista, and musical icons Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer (above) rocking only their natural curls.
But what’s refreshing about Scavullo and his longtime collaborator and partner Sean Byrnes’ curation is that this vision of beauty is much more diverse than bombshells and beauty queens. There’s Brook Shields as a child, Lou Reed with leopard spotted hair, painted nails, and shaved eyebrows. There’s Blitz Kids Mathieu and Zaldy posing only in fishnets. There’s a snap of Caitlyn as Olympic champion Bruce. And of course, there’s John Waters’ drag superstar, who looks as if she’s letting out her triumphant Female Troubles’ rallying cry: “I’m so fucking beautiful I can’t stand it myself!”