Publisher Eveleigh Nash

by Inge Morath, Buckingham Palace Mall, London 1953

Publisher Eveleigh Nash by Inge Morath, Buckingham Palace Mall, London 1953

The photographic portrait of Eveleigh Nash is among her most well-known images. The multi-layered composition seems to have two perspectives with different vanishing points. Yet the distinguished upper-class lady in her open limousine is connected with the background, as parts of the car’s body form a framework for secondary figures: the chauffeur, the two passers-by and the pedestrians on the Mall are the protagonists of this mise en scène.

As framing always implies a demarcation, the image’s structure also reflects social conditions. The gazes of Mrs. Nash and her chauffeur, both looking directly at the camera, show another ambivalent relationship: that between the subject and the photographer, developing via the photographic apparatus interposed between them. This setting evokes social codes, manifested in the photograph in specific poses.

In Morath’s well-balanced arrangements, those portrayed have sufficient space to meet the camera consciously. Her portraits were never about split-second capture of exposing moments; she preferred four meters distance and a 50-mm objective lens.

Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction