In Vibrant Color: Vintage Celebrity Portraits from the Harry Warnecke Studio

October 27 — January 12

Dorothy Jenkins Gallery

Polk Museum of Art will show the National Portrait Gallery’s new exhibition, In Vibrant Color: Vintage Celebrity Portraits from the Harry Warnecke Studio, a collection of color photographs of celebrities who rose to fame at a time when color photography was in its infancy. The exhibition opens October 20 and will be on view through January 12, 2013.

This exhibition has been organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition is the first Smithsonian show being brought to the Polk Museum of Art, which became a Smithsonian affiliate in fall 2010. The Smithsonian Affiliations program  offers museums, non-profit cultural institutions and educational organizations across the country the opportunity to have access to Smithsonian collections, programs and expertise.

Warnecke (1900-1984), a pioneering photographer at the New York Daily News, designed a one-shot camera in the 1930s that yielded color images for the Daily News’ Sunday magazine. Over the next 30 years, he photographed hundreds of newsmakers in a specially designed studio ― Hollywood icons, sports heroes and military and government leaders.

This exhibition of 24 color photographs from the 1930s and 1940s includes actors Lucille Ball and Roy Rogers, trumpeter Louis Armstrong, baseball star Ted Williams, Olympian Babe Didrikson Zaharias and General George S. Patton. Most of the photos were donated by Warnecke’s widow to the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.

For more information on this exhibition, please visit the National Portrait Gallery website at

Local support has been provided by:

Visit Central Florida

McKay Enterprises
The Ruthvens