During the studio era, a symbiotic relationship existed between movie stars and the photojournalists assigned to cover the motion picture industry. Whether documenting the domestic lives of the stars or their more glamorous nighttime exploits, these news photographers helped mold the public images of Hollywood luminaries.
Nat Dallinger (1911—2006) was an integral part of this celebrity culture and one of its foremost documentarians from the 1930s until his retirement in 1971. Initially a studio photographer, he later worked for the Los Angeles bureau of The New York Times and for King Features Syndicate. His close relationships with the Hollywood establishment gave him privileged access to the most sought-after celebrities, who were captured by his lens at home, at work and at play.
The Nat Dallinger photographs were donated to the Margaret Herrick Library by his daughter in 2012. The collection includes more than 55,000 original negatives and color transparencies, as well as Dallinger’s meticulously kept card indexes.
A selection of 120 images from the Nat Dallinger photographs is now on exhibit at the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills until December 18, 2015. If you are not able to visit the library in person, you can browse photographs and ephemera from the collection via Margaret Herrick Library Digital Collections.