Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976) – Fashion and Society Portraits

Dorothy Wilding (1893 – 1976) was a noted English society photographer from Gloucester. She wanted to become an actress or artist but this career was disallowed by her uncle, in whose family she lived, so she chose the art of photography which she started to learn from the age of sixteen.

Dorothy Wilding began her photographic career as an apprentice to Bond Street photographer Marian Neilson. Wilding was the first woman to be appointed as the Official Royal Photographer for the 1937 Coronation and opened a second studio in New York in the same year. She is best known for her brightly lit linear compositions photographed in high key lighting against a white background.

Cecil Beaton in 'All the Vogue', by Dorothy Wilding, 1925 - NPG x36720 - © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

Cecil Beaton in ‘All the Vogue’

by Dorothy Wilding
half-plate glass negative, 1925

Dame Gladys Cooper, by Dorothy Wilding, 1933 - NPG x13698 - © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

Dame Gladys Cooper

by Dorothy Wilding
bromide print on tissue and card mount, 1933

Anna May Wong, by Dorothy Wilding, 1929 - NPG x26341 - © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

Anna May Wong

by Dorothy Wilding
chlorobromide print on card mount, 1929

Tallulah Bankhead, by Dorothy Wilding, 1934 - NPG x4363 - © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

Tallulah Bankhead

by Dorothy Wilding
bromide print, 1934

Vivien Leigh, by Dorothy Wilding, 1935 - NPG x46503 - © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

Vivien Leigh

by Dorothy Wilding
bromide print, 1935

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