There was a time when artists were artists, taking up residence in sprawling Massachusetts colonial homes, dressing up elegantly, and sculpting while the sunlight shone. That bygone era has been recreated for a Vogue photo shoot by Annie Liebovitz on the theme of author Edith Wharton’s life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Alongside a bevy of famous contemporary authors starring as Wharton’s literary friends, painter Nate Lowman plays sculptor Daniel Chester French.
In the photograph (shown at top), Lowman appears in a rumpled blue shirt, tightly cinched bowtie and elegant suit pants, standing pensively in front of a portrait bust in progress. The artist’s signature hair remains tousled. Lowman has big shoes to fill — French himself was an American sculptor who created the full-length portrait of Abraham Lincoln that now sits in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He died in 1931.
Elsewhere in the photo shoot series, actor Elijah Wood plays Wharton’s chauffeur, novelist Jeffrey Eugenides plays Henry James, and novelist Junot Diaz dresses up as diplomat Walter Barry. So retro! [Ciao Domenica]