Twin Lenses screening
Join NYWIFT for an evening exploring the work of remarkable twins Kathryn Abbe and Frances McLaughlin–pioneering fashion and editorial photographers whose work paved the way for women in the world of fashion and magazine illustration. A screening of Nina Rosenblum’s documentary short Twin Lenses, which pays tribute to the richness of their work and their commitment to each other, will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the filmmakers and their subjects.
The twins, whose photographs are considered masterpieces of their genre, embraced a wide range of subjects: celebrities, intimate family moments, high fashion, lifestyle and beauty. Frances joined Vogue Studio, photographing exclusively for Conde Nast publications for two decades. While Kathryn, a free-lance photographer, shot for such clients as McCalls, Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping and Paris Match. Both twins married into photographic families – Kathryn's husband, James Abbe, Jr., was a noted photographer, as was Frances’ husband, Leslie Gill – and together they set a standard for balancing work with a commitment to family and raising children.
Nina Rosenblum is an Academy Award-nominated, two-time International Documentary Association award-winning producer, director, and writer of documentaries. Her previous films include the Oscar-nominated PBS doc, Liberators: Fighting On Two Fronts In World War II; the Emmy-award winning TBS show The Untold West: The Black West; the PBS/POV feature documentary Through The Wire; HBO documentary Lock-Up: The Prisoners Of Rikers Island; and Code Yellow: Hospital At Ground Zero; and The Skin I'm In, about Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone (Showtime/ NYT Television). In 2005, her film Zahira's Peace was broadcast on Canal + Spain. NYWIFT recently screened her most recent film In The Name of Democracy: Ameria and Lt. Watada.
Naomi Rosenblum, photographic historian, has made significant contributions to the study of the history of photography. Her textbook, World History Of Photography, is used in universities throughout North America and has been translated into French, Japanese, and Polish. She has written extensively on Paul Strand, modernism and other aspects of 20th-century photography. In the course of investigating women and photography over the past decade, she has presented numerous lectures and participated in several conferences on the subject.
Kathryn Abbe (pictured above with her sister Frances) studied at Pratt Institute and the New School for Social Research, before winning Vogue magazine's "Prix de Paris" contest in 1941, and becoming an assistant to Vogue fashion photographer Toni Frissell. Since 1944, she has photographed for such magazines as Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens and Parents. Known for photographs of children (including the Kienast quintuplets) actors, actresses and musicians, she also rescued and printed negatives of early Hollywood stars taken by her father-in-law, James Abbe. Abbe spent three years working with McLaughlin-Gill on a book on twins published in 1980, and has, with her sister, exhibited photographs of twins at the Neikrug and Washburn Galleries in NYC.
Dennis Watlington, an Emmy Award-winning producer and writer, is the screenwriter of Twin Lenses. Watlington has written numerous television movies, features, soaps, sitcoms and articles for Vanity Fair, NY Times and other journals. His book, Chasing America, was published by St. Martin's Press in the U.S. in 2006 and will be published in France this Fall. In 2005, Watlington wrote Zahira's Peace, which was featured on Canal + Spain and won a Cine Golden Eagle.
Produced by Susan Steiger
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Sep. 5, 2016