Bertram Park

Bertram Park

Bertram Park (1883-1972) developed an early interest in photography, having started his career working in his family’s business manufacturing artists materials. Park was one of the founding members of the London Salon of Photography in 1910, and in 1916 he married fellow photographer Yvonne Gregory, a partnership which extended beyond the household and heart and into the studio. Three years after their marriage, Park and his wife teamed up with another burgeoning photographer, Marcus Adams, to set up a studio together on Dover Street in Picadilly.

The studio was a resounding success, resulting in Adams’s reputation as preferred child photographer of the elite, and positioning Park as one of the leading portrait photographers of his time. Although somewhat overshadowed by the career of her husband, Yvonne Gregory also thrived as a photographer, shooting many celebrities and actors in the Dover Street studios. Gregory and Park often collaborated together, producing photographic works as a team.

As Park’s reputation grew, so did the status of his clientele, eventually leading to enormous success photographing royalty both from the British Isles and beyond. In fact, many European royals would come to his studio each year for their official portraits.

Park’s style of portraiture is known for its dramatic lighting and simple backgrounds, a style which he carried over into his many nude figure studies. His wife was also interested in the female form as an artistic element, and in addition to posing for Park in some photographs, Gregory and Park published a book together on this subject: “The Beauty of the Female Form” in 1935. The book was based on the work they produced for the first international photographic salon which took place in Paris in 1933, where Park’s photographs exhibited alongside other members of the European avant garde such as Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy and other groundbreakers in the photographic artform.

Many of Park’s portraits are part of the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, and you can find out more about his art nudes and “The Beauty of the Female Form” on Papericons.com.

All photographs courtesy of The Camera Club Collection.