In Vintage Inspiration

Nickolas Muray – Portraits in Color

Today I stumbled upon the most brilliantly beautiful color portraits from the 1930s and 1940s on the George Eastman House Flickr page. I just had to share some of them! These portraits were taken by Nickolas Muray who was born in Hungary but immigrated to the United States in 1913 where he made quite a name for himself. He was a pioneer of advertising and color portraiture, and based on his description on Flickr, was as colorful in character as his photography. You can read more about him and see more of his work: here. Get ready to “Ooo” and “Ahh”!


Ladies Home Journal – Swimsuit Layout – 1932


Lucky Strike – Girl in Red – 1936


McCall’s Magazine – Woman in Flowered Hat Holding Compact – 1937


Β McCall Homemaking Cover – Girl in Feathered Hat – 1938


McCall’s Magazine Cover – Woman Wearing Scarf – July 1938


McCall Homemaking Cover – 1939


McCall Magazine Homemaking Cover – Knitting Lesson – 1940


McCall’s Magazine Style and Beauty Cover – Fortune Teller – 1940


McCall Cover – Joan Caulfield – September 1941


McCall Style and Beauty Cover – 1942

Incredible, no? I wish all of MY photos looked like this! I find the color process so beautiful and striking. If you’d like to see more, take a look at the Nickolas Muray photo stream on Flickr. Brilliant stuff. I think the Fortune Teller photo is my favorite, but the shoes and the swimsuits are also amazing. …but then there’s kittens. I can’t decide!

Which one is your favorite?



  • Amazing photos, the colours are so vibrant. I think the knitting one is my favourite, though the woman in the yellow and green hat is a close second.

  • They are too amazing to pick just one! πŸ™‚

    Miss Beta xx

  • These are simply wonderful! What a find!

  • Abbi Jane

    I love the 1939 photo (and all of the rest of course) but it look’s surprisingly modern to me.

  • I love the rick-rack finish on that yellow dress! Must copy that one time….

  • I really like the girl putting rag curls in her hair. I think that is what it’s called. I remember my grandma putting my hair in rags when I was little. Love that pool party too! The color is fantastic!

  • If I could have one hanging on my wall, I’d have to choose the shoes. :o)

  • rachel

    I love the composition and surrealist vibe happening in the shoe photo. The others are nice but those shoes take the cake. πŸ™‚

  • Pat

    The face the woman with the kittens is making is priceless. I get the feeling she was gritting her teeth and wishing he would just hurry up and take the pic. My fav is the Lucky Strike Girl in Red. She is beautiful.

  • What a coincidence! I was just looking at his photographs yesterday on pintrest! They truly are beautiful. The colors are so striking.
    -Viola πŸ™‚

  • Megan

    wow- these are all brilliant and so hard to pick a fav- love the swimsuits and shoes but also rate the knitting lesson for the hair detail and that beautiful feather hat. And what about the split ends on the PJ snap- not something you’d see nowadays and gives it a reality check- love then all

  • misscrayolacreepy

    Those are all so great! Especially the cat one, it makes me want a kitten.

  • Deb Kessler

    Those are so beautiful. I love the fortune teller and see that as an inspiration for my Reading hairdo! Love the shoes image as well.

    Thanks for sharing those.


  • I vote for Knitting Lesson, its so cute and the little girl is os happy.

    Fine photos your showing us.

    Love Lis