A new exhibition of long lost photographs by Hollywood paparazzi Frank Worth will bring the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to Fort Lauderdale this summer.
The exhibition, a collection of 60 original silver gelatin prints, will be on display at NAC Gallery, 3325 NE 32nd Ave. in Fort Lauderdale, and includes many candid images of the most iconic figures of the period, including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis.
A native of New York, photographer Worth moved to Los Angeles as a young man in 1940 in hopes of finding a career coving the film industry as a news photographer. He landed a job with the International News Service and soon became close friends with some of the biggest names of the era.
According to gallery owner Vincent Harrison, the magic of the images is in their spontaneous nature: “Frank was a close friend with many of his subjects and he managed to capture them in those rare, relaxed moment when they were just being themselves. The photos are extraordinary and showcase the real personalities of these Hollywood legends.”
Worth shared a fascination with sports cars with James Dean. The actor invited him to go behind the scenes on the sets of Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Just a few years after Worth arrived in Los Angeles, crooner Frank Sinatra came to Hollywood, and they, too, struck a close, lifelong friendship. Through Sinatra, Worth met and became acquaintances with other “Rat Pack” regulars, including Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
He also regularly photographed Oscar and Golden Globe ceremonies and after-parties, candidly capturing the Marx Brothers, Errol Flynn, Rock Hudson, Sofia Loren and Judy Garland.
One of Worth’s most famous images was taken while he was on location in New York during the making of The Seven Year Itch. Director Billy Wilder positioned Marilyn Monroe, her skirt blowing up, over a subway grate. He caught the legendary director positioning the actress in the pose that would make her famous.
According to Harrison, the rare and valuable collection of negatives that accumulated over Worth’s 60 year career were forgotten and only found after his death in 1999. Appraisers have called the collection one of the most extraordinary of its kind.
Harrison, a young British expat, thought the exhibit would make the perfect first exhibit for his new gallery in Fort Lauderdale’s emerging North Beach art and design district, located just north of Oakland Park Boulevard and west of Route A1A.
The exhibit will open on Saturday, June 2 at 7 p.m. with appropriate red carpet flair. Guests who arrive dressed as their favorite ‘50s film or television stars will receive a limited edition, certified lithograph of one of Worth’s photographs.
In addition to regular exhibits at the Fort Lauderdale gallery, NAC Gallery is also hosting exclusive monthly exhibits and events in Miami, including receptions with artists. This series kicked off earlier this month at the tony Epic Hotel with an exhibition of works by acclaimed modern expressionist painter Diego Jacobson. The artist was on hand to discuss his works and sign books.
“We want to take the art experience to the next level,” says Harrison. “You can look at the art on a wall or you can experience it. That’s our goal at NAC Gallery.”
“The Seven Week Itch”
Hollywood Photographs by Frank Worth
Opening Night Party
Saturday, June 2, 7 p.m.
NAC Gallery, 3325 N. 32nd St., Fort Lauderdale
For more information, go to NACGallery.com