From Vera to Veruschka. The Unseen Photographs by Johnny Moncada

London, Somerset House
book presentation and exhibition
2 April – 1 June 2014

curated by Valentina Moncada and Antonio Monfreda

J. Moncada_Veruschka, stilista Lancetti, 1964

Wednesday 2 April 2014, in the prestigious location of Somerset House, the exhibition “From Vera to Veruschka”, the unseen photographs by the fashion photographer Johnny Moncada, will open to the public, with a selection of photographs from Harper's Bazaar UK magazine between 1963 and 1964.

In the occasion of the book presentation of the volume published by Rizzoli International, the exhibition will present for the first time to the large audience an extraordinary selection of 40 photographs by Johnny Moncada, in which the protagonist is the very young german model Vera von Lehndorff-Steinort, who will later become the legendary Veruschka. The exhibition also tells the story of a transformation, from a young model to the iconic face of 60's glamour.

“From Vera to Veruschka” gather's up the stunning unseen photographs forgotten in old trunks and today brought to light thanks to the accurate work of restoration, archiving and research of the Johnny Moncada Archive by Valentina Moncada, the photographer's daughter. Thanks to the support of the Nando Peretti Foundation, this accurate work started in April 2012 during the preparation of the first exhibition of the photographer at Valentina Moncada Gallery, Rome.

The book published by Rizzoli, launched world wide in March 2014, is realized with the contribution of the Art Director Antonio Monfreda and includes texts by today prominent fashion personalities. From a brilliant introduction by Franca Sozzani, Editor in Chief of Vogue Italy, to the refined text by Hamish Bowles, international authority in fashion and design and Editor of Vogue USA, and especially by the legendary Veruschka herself, who remember for the first time her journey in Italy and the work with Johnny Moncada for Harper's UK magazine. Also, the contribution of the journalist Massimo di Forti, the only one who has had the opportunity to meet and to interview the two protagonist of the book, of Antonio Monfreda, who has selected the shoots among the 100.000 founded with modern and original eye, and of Valentina Moncada, art historian and italian gallery owner, who brings to life this incredible story with her father.

The exhibition is a contribution to the history of italian fashion and it represents a journey through Italian fashion designers, including Antonelli, Irene Galitzine, Sorelle Fontana, Forquet, Lancetti e Valentino, and the famous places of the Dolce Vita: from the roman studio of the photographer Johnny Moncada in via Margutta 54, to the evocative banks of Arno in Florence and to the timeless seascape of Capri and Sardinia islands. Between glamour and imagination, these shots express an aesthetic and melancholic streak and, at the same time, an unexpected modern style that makes them extraordinary current.

The exhibition will present also the artist video curated by Antonio Monfreda starting from the idea that of an image could bring back to life the lived experience between the photographer and the model, the journey in Italy, the darkroom atmosphere. Photographs are assembled and created in a poetical-dreamlike way of great visual impression, following the choice achieved in the publication.

Book: From Vera to Veruschka. The Unseen Photographs by Johnny Moncada
Edited by Rizzoli International, Photographs by Johnny Moncada, Art Direction by Antonio Monfreda, Contribution by Veruschka, Hamish Bowles, Franca Sozzani, Antonio Monfreda, Massimo di Forti and Valentina Moncada. Rizzoli International, New York, 2014

Courtyard Rooms, South Wing
10 am – 6 pm Daily
Free entrance