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It's Your Life / People, Places and Things to do. : STAR PHOTOS : Legendary Shooter's Work Is on Display

June 22, 1995|LOUISE ANN NOETH

His name may not flash any memory bulbs these days, but photographer George Hurrell was a Hollywood legend in the early days of the silver screen.

His black and white photographs, which helped create the aura surrounding many of the early stars, have a distinct, come-hither style, a subtle interplay of soft shadows and streaming highlights that captivate the viewer even today.

In the late 1920s, MGM, Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures relied on Hurrell to create an image full of mystery and seduction through a mix of light and dark textures, close-ups and unusual angles.

Hurrell's photographs are being shown for the first time at Oxnard's Carnegie Art Museum in an exhibit titled "Making Stars: Hollywood Portraits by George Hurrell," a selection of 20 portraits, including ones of Dorothy Lamour, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Ramon Navarro, Ginger Rogers, Gilbert Roland, Anna May Wong and Jean Harlow.

Bette Davis believed that Hurrell's portraits furthered her career. Loretta Young said his images were the same caliber as fine-art paintings. In 1936, Esquire magazine said: "A Hurrell portrait is to the ordinary publicity still what a Rolls-Royce is to a roller skate."

Sharing the exhibit spotlight with Hurrell is "Depression Silver: Machine Age Craft & Design in Aluminum."

A Depression-era costume party will be held Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the museum. Members are admitted free; non-members pay $20.

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