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Vanity Fair: The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  690 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Vanity Fair: The Portraits brings together 300 iconic portraits from Vanity Fair’s 95-year history in a remarkable book that captures the image of modern fame — the magical thing that happens when individual talent and beauty (and sometimes genius) is caught in the spotlight of popular curiosity and passion. The photographers — from Edward Steichen and Cecil Beaton to Anni ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2008)
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Exceptional Photography Books*
37th out of 383 books — 128 voters
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Coffee Table Books
17th out of 316 books — 93 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,527)
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Blog on Books
Mar 29, 2010 Blog on Books rated it really liked it
Having had a front row seat spanning nearly 100 years in the worlds of style, celebrity, politics and power, no other magazine has quite the ability to showcase the talents of such a broad array of famous photographers as well as the breadth of personalities presented here. From early photographers like Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton and Man Ray to modern day lenssmiths such as Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Bruce Weber and, of course, Annie Leibowitz, ‘the Portraits’ offers an unprecede ...more
Sydney
Apr 19, 2014 Sydney rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book. I love looking at all of the pictures.Even though some of them are not appropriate for me.mainly all of their outfits are very cool. I recommend this book too people who like to look at pictures instead of a lot of words.
Vanessa
Feb 06, 2014 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
An amazing collection of Vanity Fair's portraits. They photographs in this book is absolutely stunning and it was interesting to read about Vanity Fair's back story and how it came to be today
Paul
Oct 23, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing
When I need to be reminded what good portraiture is all about, this is the book I reach for.
Jen Fabico
Jan 20, 2012 Jen Fabico rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-reference
I saw this book during a visit to NY. The instant I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Essentially it was an impulse buy but it's one that I cannot and do not regret. It's huge and hardcover and let's face it: Vanity Fair will usually not disappoint when showcasing amazing photographers and their subjects.

I give this HUMUNGOUS beast of a book 5 out of 5. It is beautiful inside and out and proves as a great refence and inspiration. So there you have it!
Nicole
Feb 21, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it
I received this hefty coffee table tome as a going away present from Newark Academy, mainly because everyone there knew how much I loved photography. The images here are iconic, but not necessarily because they are great photos. These are images of the rich and famous, and for that alone they are intriguing. When you want real photography, though, go seek out Weegee or Arbus or Nadar.
Lynda
Mar 03, 2015 Lynda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting collection of celebrity photographs in a "coffee table" style book.
Leigh
Dec 29, 2008 Leigh rated it really liked it
I was amazed at the variety of photographs in this book. Famous people from the past and current celebrities provide a fascinating study of styles past and present. I got this book as a Christmas book and happily spent most of Christmas afternoon studying the photography and reading about the history of the magazine Vanity Fair.
Dewayne Martin
May 03, 2012 Dewayne Martin rated it it was amazing
For me, this was much more than a simple coffee table book. This was an avenue for me to view and inspect some of the best portraiture over the last century. I highly recommend to anyone serious about portraiture, especially portraiture that is more creative than standard. This book was fascinating to me. I wish they would do more.
Cynthia
Nov 12, 2008 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who loves people art, history or life
Recommended to Cynthia by: NY Times
This book is both beautiful and informative. Some of the portraits are iconic, others are rare glimpses of historical and literary figures that, physically, you couldn't pick out of a crowd, although they are geniuses in some field. Everyone should sit down with this book, just to look, for at least an hour.
Simone Collins
Jul 11, 2009 Simone Collins rated it liked it
Ok, so I just looked at the pictures, but that's 99% of the book anyway (which, by the way, is HUGE!!!). The lighting in all of these portraits is... amazing. Lighting really does make all the difference, doesn't it?
Jessica
Jul 06, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
While I love the modern portraits, especially those by Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino, I was amazed by the clarity and character expressed in the photos from the 1920's & 1930's.
Alyssa
Sep 22, 2008 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
I know it's portraits so it's not really reading, but it is a great book! It makes me wish I had actually taken photo in high school instead of just spending all of my time down there....
Erik
Nov 20, 2008 Erik rated it it was amazing
Gorgeous and iconic photos throughout, it is more than just a coffee table book. It provides great reference to artists, as well as something just to admire. Awesome!
Lindsey
Dec 18, 2008 Lindsey rated it liked it
There were some really striking photos but the captions cracked me up. Also, I never realized how boob friendly Vanity Fair was until I looked through this book.
Dave Stevenson
Nov 02, 2009 Dave Stevenson rated it it was amazing
Amazing photography book that I got for Christmas. People from all different walks of life and culture. Absolutely fantastic!
Margarite Baltruweit
This is a book that will no doubt be adorning the coffee tables of the world's culture brokers for many years to come.
Elizabeth
Feb 24, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography
If you are into portrait photography and appreciate a wide range of style, time, and people this is a book for you!
e
Apr 08, 2009 e rated it liked it
Shelves: foto-graf-fee
I just happened to open this at work, and found that such a ridiculous magazine could produce such beautiful portraits!
Drew
Jan 04, 2013 Drew rated it really liked it
Superb coffee table book of stunning photography....not much else to add....open, admire, enjoy.
Jaime
Jan 16, 2009 Jaime rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing. A picture tells more than a thousand words.
Rachel
Feb 21, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
No one can NOT look at this great coffee table book.
Judith
Apr 12, 2013 Judith rated it it was amazing
Beautiful photography! Love this book.
Jess
Jan 05, 2009 Jess rated it liked it
It takes some guts to pose naked....
Lillian
Jul 10, 2014 Lillian rated it really liked it
Beautiful
LaLa
Apr 07, 2011 LaLa rated it it was ok
meh
Tanner
Tanner marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Michaela
Michaela marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Saša Lazarević
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Apr 30, 2016
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Edward Graydon Carter is a Canadian-born American journalist and author. He is editor of Vanity Fair. He also co-founded, with Kurt Andersen and Tom Phillips, the satirical monthly magazine Spy in 1986.
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