The name Editta Sherman may not ring a bell, but she was the blithe spirit who flitted through “Bill Cunningham New York,” about the New York Times’s street-fashion photographer, who died in 2016. Sherman (1913-2013) was Cunningham’s muse, erstwhile collaborator and longtime neighbor in the fabled studios above Carnegie Hall.
But she was a photographer in her own right, imbuing portraits of actors, writers and musicians with an unusual combination of glamour and intimacy. Sherman was a rarity in the male-dominated portrait photography profession, and some of her best subjects were women: the country singer June Carter Cash in her gawky, beautiful youth; an aging Gertrude Lawrence, famous as the first Anna in “The King and I”; and Pearl Buck, looking typically formidable. Their portraits will join around 60 others in “The Duchess of Carnegie Hall: Photographs by Editta Sherman,” opening Friday, Aug. 18 at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library. (Through Oct. 15, nyhistory.org.)
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