Joseph Jasgur Photo Candid Hollywood Canteen Esther Williams Johnny Weismuller
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Joseph Jasgur Photo Candid Hollywood Canteen Esther Williams Johnny Weismuller:
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Grapefruit Moon Gallery just acquired an important collection of the original vintage file copy photographs from the estate of Joseph Jasgur, the now legendary Hollywood photographer who was active during the 1940s - 60s. The photographer died in 2009 in Orlando Florida a couple of days before his 90th birthday and his estate contents were sold in 2011 at a Hollywood sale to pay off creditors. Among the lots sold at this sale were previously unseen early images of Marilyn Monroe (she was just 19) taken by Jasgur during her Blue Book Model Agency Norma Jean days when she was an aspiring model and actress. These broke sale records, selling for a whopping $352,000.00, and increasing the visibility of the photographer substantially. Jasgur is credited with creating the urban legend or myth that Marilyn Monroe had six toes, sadly he died penniless--a victim of poor business deals and scams that kept him from profiting from his groundbreaking earlier work. We will be selling hundreds of the photographer's archived file copy proof photographs featuring pin-up models and bathing beauties and erotic nudes that date to the 1940s - the zenith of the pin-up craze.
Joseph Jasgur cruised Hollywood night spots such as the Trocadero on Sunset Strip and the legendary Brown Derby, looking for and photographing celebrities such as Lauren Bacall, Humphry Bogart, Betty Grable, Ronald Reagan and Jane Russell. He also staked out crime scenes, turning up at the scene of homicides in his tricked-out Lincoln Zephyr, which had running water, a cot in the back and a radio-telephone, a rarity in the 1940s. This noir inspired, Weegee-like grittiness can be seen throughout his work and it clashes to great effect with the beautiful models and pin-up girls Jasgur captured without pretense in varying degrees of dress and undress. This is a spectacular collection of first generation vintage gelatin silver photographs direct from the estate of Joseph Jasgur -- all sell ! ITEM : You are offerding on an original 1940s stamped gelatin silver original photograph of Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller in posed candid at some sort of fundraising party at the notorious Hollywood Canteen during World War II.This shows the two swimming stars in a faux moment of rivalry with her seeming to be gearing up for a punch and him smiling sheepishly, though perhaps she was in fact repressing more rage than she'd like the camera to know. In her memoirs she described how when she swam with Weissmuller in 1940, she discovered that he had“remarkable genitalia that he loved to exhibit.” After their swimming act at the Acquacade was completed, he’d “whip off his trunks” and go after young Esther. “I would swim for (the exit) as though I was swimming for my life.” This measures a complete 7 1/2" x 9 1/4" and was mounted on a slightly larger card stock with rounded edges for file copy storing and presentation display purposes (as are many examples in this collection). Verso is marked Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller in the photographer's hand. It also features two inkstamps, the top one dates to when he created this photograph in the 1940s and filed it away and the lower (which includes a copyright date 1987) was added later as Jasgur fought to protect his rights to his collection. This is not a later print, it was his archived and stored original file copy.
100% guaranteed original and vintage.
CONDITION: This vintage original photograph is in very fine condition, the professional mount is free of any bubbling or rippling or defects and is flawless.
100% guaranteed vintage and original
Here is the photographers obituary in the L.A.Times:
Joseph Jasgur, the photographer who shot pictures of Marilyn Monroe when she was just a 19-year-old brunet hoping to break into modeling, has died in an Orlando, Fla.-area nursing home.
Jasgur had been ill for months. He died of natural causes Saturday, two days before his 90th birthday.
He spent the last years of his life trying to win back the legal rights to those photos, as well as hundreds of others that he shot in golden-era Hollywood during the 1940s and '50s.
Back then, he cruised night spots, such as the Trocadero on Sunset Strip and the legendary Brown Derby, looking for and photographing celebrities:Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Betty Grable, Ronald Reagan, and Jane Russell.
He also staked out crime scenes, turning up at the scene of homicides in his tricked-out Lincoln Zephyr, which had running water, a cot in the back and a radio-telephone, a rarity in the 1940s, said Marty Stanonik, his legal guardian.
But it was the Monroe photos that earned him the most acclaim.
Jasgur was just 26 when Monroe, then known as Norma Jean Dougherty, walked into his Los Angeles photo studio in 1946.
She had no money but wanted to become a model. Jasgur led her into the alley and snapped several shots.
"She was a plain, ordinary girl with two sets of clothes -- one she had on, one in the laundry," Jasgur said in an interview three years ago.
During the next three weeks, Jasgur shot dozens more: Norma Jean in the Hollywood Hills, Norma Jean at the beach.
The glamour shots worked. They were part of the portfolio that Monroe showed to 20th Century Fox, Stanonik said.
She became rich and famous. Jasgur did not.
After she became a star, "She shunned him," said Stanonik, of Beach Park, Ill.
Still, Jasgur owned those photos, and he spent much of his later years trying to capitalize on them.
The beach photos, in particular, would years later create a sensation: They appeared to show a sixth toe on Monroe's left foot, something many Hollywood historians have dismissed as an optical illusion.
In 1991, the photos appeared in a coffee-table book, "The Birth of Marilyn: The Lost Photos of Norma Jean."
In the late 1990s, Jasgur moved to Florida, and, in 2000, he signed away control of the photos to an Orlando drywall contractor.
That deal quickly soured. Jasgur accused the buyer of cheating him. The buyer said the same thing about Jasgur. The dispute wound up in Bankruptcy Court, and there it remains after more than eight years.
In the end, Jasgur died penniless and bedridden at the Palm Garden of Orlando nursing home, his mind clouded by dementia.
"He was a good man, basically a good man and a talented professional," said longtime friend Tom Endre. "He was not a very good businessman."
Liz Green, an Orlando bankruptcy attorney, is one of the lawyers who tried to get the photos back.
"He really did love what he did," she said. "He would just light up when he talked about it."