Genevieve Naylor’s Post-World War II Fashion Photos In Stunning Colors, 1945-1959

Genevieve Naylor was born in 1915 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her professional career began in 1937 when she became one of the first female photojournalists hired by the Associated Press. In addition to the AP, her photographs began to appear in TIME, Fortune, and LIFEMagazines. She went on to become a noted fashion photographer whose work appeared in VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping, McCall’s, and Cosmopolitan.

In 1940, Genevieve Naylor was assigned by the U.S. State department as part of a team to travel to Brazil. In an effort to further and strengthen the anti-Nazi relationship between the United States and Brazil and to promote mutual cultural awareness, the U.S. Office of Inter-American Affairs, under the leadership of Nelson Rockefeller, created a team of notable Americans that included Orson Welles, Errol Flynn, and Walt Disney. Genevieve Naylor and her partner (and later husband) Misha Reznikoff arrived in Brazil in October, 1940, where he showed his paintings while Miss Naylor took photographs.

Because it was war time, film was rationed, and Naylor’s equipment was modest. She had neither flash nor studio lights and had to carefully choose her shots, balancing spontaneity with careful composition. Of her work, nearly 1,350 photos survived and were preserved. After her return to the states in 1943, Naylor became only the second woman photographer to be given a one-woman show when her work was exhibited by New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Naylor’s photographs of Brazil on assignment for the State Department were featured in a rare solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1945. The exhibition would late tour across the country.

Naylor was married to the painter Misha Reznikoff, with whom she had two children. She died in 1989.

h/t: rarehistoricalphotos

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