Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Property from the Collection of the late Bob Willoughby (1927-2009)
Bob Willoughby, whose photographs have transformed the images of Hollywood's biggest stars, was a true pioneer of 20th century photography. He was the first 'outside' photographer hired by the major studios to create photographs for the magazines, and was the link between the filmmakers and major magazines of the time, such as Life and Look.
Born in Los Angeles in 1927, Willoughby started taking pictures with an Argus C-3 camera given to him by his father on his 12th birthday. By the time he started high school, he was able to process and develop his own photographs. His passion for jazz was the impetus that propelled him into photographing so many of the now iconic musicians in Los Angeles in the early 1950s.
Some of these images started to appear in magazines, catching the interest of famed art director Alexey Brodovitch at Harper's Bazaar, and soon Willoughby was doing assignments for them on the west coast. Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker were two of those early images.
He studied film at the USC Cinema Department, and design with the legendary Saul Bass at the Kahn Institute of Art. While his enthusiasm for jazz never wavered, the direction of his photography would quickly veer into documenting the making of movies.
His career took off in 1954 when Warner Bros. asked him to photograph Judy Garland's final scene on the set of A Star Is Born. This was very unusual and Willoughby became the first non-union photographer to work in the studios; a 'special'. His portrait of the freckle-faced star became his first Life cover. From then on his production was phenomenal. His images were in print literally every week for the next twenty years, covering the making of over 100 films. Popular Photography called him: 'The man who virtually invented the photojournalistic motion picture still'.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Hollywood honoured Willoughby with a major retrospective exhibition of his work. He was awarded the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Still Photography in New York in 2004. His photographs are in the permanent collections of The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The National Portrait Gallery, London; The National Museum of Photography, Bradford, U.K.; Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris; The Museum of Modern Art, Film Department, New York; The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tate Collection, London; Musée de la Photographie et de Image, Nice; and Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium.
In December 2009, Bob passed away at his home in Vence in the South of France, surrounded by his wife Dorothy and four children.