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George Daniell, 91; Portrait Photographer and Watercolor Artist

September 18, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

George Daniell, 91, a photographer best known for his black-and-white portraits of actors, artists and writers, died Saturday in Bar Harbor, Maine, of complications from a stroke. He had been partially disabled by a stroke in 1988.

Also a painter, Daniell studied drawing at Yale University and New York's American People's School and Art Students League. He began taking photographs as a teenager in his native Yonkers, N.Y., and, after graduating from college, became a freelance photographer in New York City and Europe. His work appeared over the years in Time and Life magazines, among others, and is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in Washington.

Daniell photographed celebrities as and where he found them in his travels about the United States and Europe: a young Sophia Loren in a Rome movie studio, Audrey Hepburn on the set of "War and Peace," Tennessee Williams in Key West, Fla., Georgia O'Keeffe on her Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, and W.H. Auden smoking a cigarette and lounging in a doorway on the Italian island of Ischia. He called Loren "the most beautiful woman I've ever seen," and O'Keeffe "very nice and very warm" but an artist treasuring her privacy.

After Daniell moved to Trenton, Maine, in 1960, he spent more time painting than photographing. Daniell excelled in watercolors and his subjects ranged from the gay culture of New York's Fire Island, where he spent his youth, to Maine coastal life, nudes on beaches and still lifes of lobster, fruit and flowers.

In recent years, he also enjoyed writing.

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