The After Hours Collection Companion Book
After Hours is a celebration of Bradford J. Smith’s vintage photography and an opportunity to step back in time to the heyday of Madison Avenue “Mad” Men.
Bradford J. Smith (1925 – 2016) was a photographer for over 75 years. During his long and varied career Bradford amassed a multitude of stunning photographs. However none were more compelling than his work as a fashion photographer in NYC in the ‘40s and ‘50s.
By day, fashion photos for Harper’s Bazaar.
By night, nude portraits of aspiring actresses.
Among his after hours models was a young “Betty” Bacall. Sadly, that is a photo you won’t see in the collection as it was bought back by enraged husband Humphrey Bogart.
Brad left the Big City, returned to his beloved upstate NY and purchased a home in Ballston Spa. That home is now the Brookside Museum and the site of the After Hours at Brookside exhibit August 7 – 10, 2017. In an atmosphere evoking a long gone era, the exhibit showcased Bradford Smith’s vintage fashion and vintage nude prints.
Bradford’s 144 vintage fashion and 45 vintage nude prints were shot over 50 years ago and printed within a year of being taken. They are dry mounted on boards by Brad or under his direct supervision and each has a notarized certificate of authenticity. This collection companion catalogue contains a representative sample of Bradford’s vintage prints. Pieces not in private collections are for sale.
According to John A. Staszyn, Appraisers Association of America: “Fashion photographers record current styles for illustrations in the mass media, and the women are both their prime subject and audience. Since fashion photographers both reflect and amplify social trends in their work, it is interesting to trace the transitions in their images as women, from the idealized and glossy mannequins of the 1930s to the healthy outdoor types that were often portrayed in the 1950s to the sexually ambiguous creatures of the 1970s. There is a new interest in fashion photographs as collectible works, both as cultural documents and as visually exciting images.
The photographs by Bradford Smith contain many of the same qualities of the Conde Nast photographers. The composition, lighting, posing and quality of the prints reflect the positive, creative and alluring aspects of some of Conde Nast’s best known photographers such as: Horst, Cecil Beaton, Edward Stiechen, Frances McLaughlin-Gill and more”.
Foreword By Susan Rivers
My dear friend Bradford Smith passed away June 16, 2016 at the age of 91. A photographer for over 75 years, he amassed quite a cache of work as well as a few stories.
Brad and I met as members of the Broadway Art Center in Albany New York. We bonded quickly over being “outsiders” in the fine art world. He with his photography and me with my fiber creations. I really got to know him from spending hours at craft fairs and art receptions. Brad happily shared memories of his time working for Mayor La Guardia, sitting next to Greta Garbo at the 57th St. luncheonette counter and photographing the young “Betty” Bacall.
Brad was a treasured friend. I was just in awe of his energy and depth of knowledge of photography and how to fix or make anything. He was still hauling boxes of his work and setting up his ancient heavy hard to put together display tent way into his 80s.
As long as I knew him, Brad always had a book he had just written or was going to write. He wanted to share his work with the world. He had books of reminiscences (Florida Trip, Sacandaga), books of his famous family (Joseph Dunlop) and books of his work (the Nudes, Faces of Man).
And then there was the last book he was working on. A book of his vintage work. His vintage fashion and nudes taken in the 1940s and 50s. A book he began and we are going to complete. Brad left beautiful images and pretty good records of his work – except for who were his models.
So the photographs will have to speak for themselves…
Table of Contents
- On Cover – The Dreamer (Brad’s favorite image)
- Foreward – Susan Rivers
- About the Process
- Essay – Follow the Light by Andrew Mark Gross
- BY DAY Vintage Fashion Photo Sampling
- Fashion Thumbnails
- Essay – Within and Without by Rachel Eloise Bowers
- BY NIGHT Vintage Nude Portrait Sampling
- Nude Thumbnails
- About the One and Only Bradford J. Smith
- Smith Family Stories by Donald Smith
- Tales of a Photographer’s Daughter by Brenda Dentinger