“the alertness, sensitivity and sympathetic understanding required in portraiture, are reflected in most of Mrs. Sherman’s camera studies…the technical methods used should be less important to the amateur visitors at the show than her evident desire to get a truthful characterization.”
~ Jacob Deschin( New York Times critic)~
Editta Sherman’s work was almost fully devoted in engaging portraiture that left us some of the finest images of Hollywood stars.Starting her career as early as the 1944, she found herself in the summer of 1947 commissioned by the GAVERT Company to make a series of portraits for a special exhibit of their Gevalux Velour paper at the PAA annual convention in Chicago. GAVERT wanted to demonstrate “utmost realism” in camera portraits when combining their product with third-dimensional lighting and “truthful characterizations” as captured by Editta and her lens. A one-woman show, “Men of Achievement” presented portraits — shot on 8 x 10 Ektachrome — shown in February 1948 at Radio City in the first presentation of “Photography on Parade.”
Editta’s studio moved to a number of midtown locations before taking residence in her skylight Studio 1208 above Carnegie Hall in 1950, which afforded her ample use of north light to incorporate into her highly stylized images. Kenneth S. Tydings, “Portrait Photography” featured her portraits throughout the book to illustrate lighting technique.
Kodak solicited Mrs. Sherman’s largest and last one-woman exhibit in Grand Central Station’s mezzanine in 1967. As the intensity of her photographic work tapered photographers and filmmakers found her natural beauty and dynamic personality well matched to their interest. Able Ferrare cast Mrs. Sherman in the supporting role of the landlady in 1983 motion picture Ms.45; Andy Warhol filmed her dancing the “Dying Swan,” and she appears in two recently released films: BILL CUNNINGHAM, NEW YORK, and LOST BOHEMIA. Editta has been a regular subject of the photographer’s appearing in Francesco Scavullo’s book WOMEN, and as the captivating single model in Bill Cunningham’s book exploring architecture and fashion history: FACADES.
”When I photographed an actor like Raymond Massey, or a poet like Carl Sandburg, or a conductor like Leonard Bernstein, I tried to photograph what I admired about them.”