Photographer of Hollywood’s Golden Age Gets First, Posthumous Exhibit

Tomorrow afternoon at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Blossom Room, Canadian documentary filmmaker Barry Avrich will tell the story of the late Jack Pashkovsky, a man who photographed stars like Clark Gable and Marlene Dietrich in their prime, and then quietly kept the resulting treasure trove to himself. It was only in 2000, a year before Pashkovsky’s death at age 89, that Avrich discovered the photos while working on an unrelated film project.

The first-ever public exhibit of Pashkovsky’s work is part of the TCM Classic Film Festival, which runs April 28th through May 1st at Mann’s Chinese, the Egyptian, and the Music Box Theater. Ahead of the trip to LA, Avrich spoke with Toronto Star reporter Martin Knelman about the incredible pics:

“Pashkovsky was unknown in his lifetime, but his gift at capturing the essence of larger-than-life personalities puts him on a level with Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz,” says Avrich…

“There was something quite exceptional about the way Pashkovsky caught stars at their ease. His approach made the icons appear relaxed, made these beautiful people like real people, and that’s what makes his work illuminating.”

While the book Avrich planned to compile about Pashkovsky never came to pass, the photos have been permanently donated to the Toronto International Film Festival. However, it seems fitting that the pictures are getting their unveiling in Hollywood.