In 1960, photojournalist Ormond Gigli assembled 43 women, dressed them in refined, colorful garb and situated them in 41 windows across the facade of a building. Over 50 years later, the image born of that shoot stands as a triumph within art photography. The “Girls in the Windows” photograph was not an assignment; it was an idea that Gigli envisioned and executed and the history behind it can be found in powerHouse books‘ newest release “Girls in the Windows: And Other Stories“—the first book to survey Gigli’s 40+ year career. Filled with intimate and inventive imagery, the collection brings viewers behind the scenes of that incredible photograph, the work that lead to its genesis and what was to come after. From celebrity portraiture to little-known travel photography, “Girls in the Windows” conveys Gigli’s masterful eye and art direction in a way not yet seen.
Gigli was born in the shifting cultural landscape of New York City in 1925, and his early success stemmed from moments captured of celebrities, theatre and dance, with hints of exoticism. His career would expand to cover photography for Time and Life magazines, The Saturday Evening Post and even the world of advertising photography. His early life around performance allowed for a regular return to Broadway’s backstage and the private lives of celebrities. His diverse body of work and this compendium incorporate every iteration of Gigli.
Many of the images within this new book have not been seen since their first print publication run. Select photographs are accompanied by Gigli’s personal account and offer insight. Not only does the book contextualize an iconic image—both within the time and Gigli’s broader body of work—it also profiles the life of a master artist who was present for historic moments, both part of the great age of photojournalism or an exploration of personal interest.
“Girls in the Windows: And Other Stories” is available for preorder online from powerHouse Books.
Lead photo by David Graver, second photo by Greg Stefano