Today the National Portrait Gallery opens the first solo display of photographs by Peter Rand. Celebrating the NPG’s recent acquisition of works by Rand, the display comprises 10 portraits, all taken in the 1960s.
Born in 1940, Rand attended the infamous Ealing Art and Photographic College in the late 1950s. He went on to work as a photographer’s assistant: first for Peter Peck at Woburn Studios, second at the John French Studios. In 1962 he landed his first Vogue covers when his photographs featured in the September and December issues of British Vogue. He was just 22 years old.
Vogue offered Rand an editorial contract and he remained with the magazine until the 1970s. Photographing a host of ’60s personalities, his portraits captured the likes of Bob Dylan, Grace Coddington, Richard Branson and Sarah Miles. On the 1st March 1963 his image of Althea August became the first photograph of a black model to be published in Vogue.
Though often overlooked in favour of his more celebrated contemporaries, David Bailey and Duffy to name two, Rand’s body of work is a significant contribution to the development of fashion and portrait photography. From Dusty Springfield, with her smoky eyes and beehived hair, to Corin Redgrave, the perfect dandy in his rakish hat, Rand’s is a glamorous vision of the ‘60s’ most beautiful.