Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content

529 West 20th Street, Third Floor
Open by appointment

Silverstein/20 is pleased to present, Portraits by Marie Cosindas as a second part to the gallery’s 2014 exhibition, Arrangements by Marie Cosindas.

Her best known and frequently reproduced image from 1966 of two sailors in Key West is an early example of Cosindas’s classically posed and carefully styled portraits of celebrities, cultural icons and the demimonde.  In the 1960s-80s, Consindas created her series The Grande Dames of Couture, and The Dandies, as well as photographed a cast of artists, writers, actors and musicians in a manner that is often compared to the painter John Singer Sargent.  Cosindas was recognized for her reverential, flattering, and smartly directed portraits that brought out her sitters’ style and éclat.  As with her studio arrangements of florals, borrowed treasures and objets-d’art, Cosindas’s portraits have a camp quality in her reverence for Old World kitsch, richly layered set dressings and backgrounds that she preferred. 

Cosindas was born in Boston in 1925. She studied at the Modern School of Fashion Design and attended evening drawing and painting classes at the Boston Museum School. On a trip to Greece in 1959 Cosindas realized the photographs she was using as studies for her paintings could stand on their own as finished products. Shortly after, Ansel Adams recommended her to the Polaroid Corporation, which sought to test a new instant-developing color film. Her photographs were a success, and by the end of the 1960s she had received a Guggenheim grant to continue her work in color, a Rockefeller grant, and honorary degrees form Philadelphia Moore College of Art and the Art Institute of Boston. 


In 2013 Cosindas was the subject of a retrospective at the Amon Carter Museum, Forth Worth. In addition to her first two solo shows at MoMA and the MFA Boston in 1966, and her inclusion in John Szarkowski’s 1978 landmark exhibition Mirrors and Windows at MoMA, other major exhibitions of her work have been held at The Art Institute of Chicago; the International Center of Photography, New York; and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Her work is represented in prominent collections including George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Cosindas lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Back To Top