THE ESTATE OF SHIRLEY RITTS
Interior designer Shirley Ritts, born in Baltimore in 1920, managed the sales and marketing divisions of Ritts Company, a furniture business owned by her husband, Herbert Ritts, Sr. With its trendy bohemian, Polynesian aesthetic, the company's style was in keeping with the trends of the moment, especially the popularity of rattan furniture. Ritts' famous style was featured in many notable projects, including the set of Elvis Presley's film "Blue Hawaii" in 1961. When the Ritts Company later began to produce high-end acrylic designs, Shirley traveled the country to promote the business but never lost touch with her family back home. In their 27-room Spanish-style home in Brentwood, CA, Shirley and her husband raised four children, including the acclaimed portrait photographer Herb Ritts. Herb, with whom she shared a close relationship, marveled at her ability to connect with people of all ages and from all walks of life, including his glamorous list of clientele.
Born on August 13, 1952, Herb Ritts followed in his parents' footsteps and worked in the family furniture business. He later moved temporarily to the East Coast, where he studied economics and art history at Bard College. His interest shifted to photography, taking shape when he decided to photograph a young man, the soon-to-be-famous Richard Gere, at a gas station. Iconic and illustrative of Ritts' potential as a photographer, this photograph garnered publicity and helped Ritts to launch his career. He went on to photograph icons such as Elizabeth Taylor, the Dalai Lama and Cindy Crawford, and his photographs have graced the pages of the world's most prestigious publications, including Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. By the time of his death in 2002, Ritts had undoubtedly become one of the most esteemed photographers of all time. Shirley passed away on February 24, 2008, leaving behind a legacy of professional and personal successes.
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF SHIRLEY RITTS