VINTAGE BACHRACH PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT OF PRESIDENT HOOVER, INSCRIBED BY HOOVER
HOOVER, Herbert. Photograph inscribed. No place: Bachrach, circa 1933. Quarto (10-1/2 by 14 inch) vintage browntone studio photographic portrait. $400.
Vintage browntone studio print of Bachrach’s formal portrait of President Herbert Hoover, inscribed by him, “To William Lawrence Royall 3d, with the sincere regards of Herbert Hoover.”
Dated on the verso January 21, 1933—less than two months before he left office—this formal portrait, a browntone studio print of the portrait taken by famed photographer Louis Fabian Bachrach, depicts a somber Herbert Hoover. “Part of Bachrach’s success was based on his rules of photography… What Bachrach would do was create portraits of people, making them appear the way they would like to be seen: heightening their good features and lessening the less than advantageous… His success in ‘camouflaging’ unattractive features and his growing reputation for distinctive portraits brought him subjects from brides to business leaders to presidents. When discussing photographing presidents, which the family had been doing since the days of Bachrach’s father, Bachrach considered Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy ‘the least approachable Presidents” (ANB). Hoover’s perceived standoffishness may have been a consequence of the time: during the Hoover administration, with the nation in the grasp of the Great Depression, “the bottom fell out of the formal photography business. By 1935, only eight Bachrach studios remained,” down from 48 in 12 states in 1929 (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Light creasing to lower corner, not affecting image. A fine inscribed piece, suitable for framing.