Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Artist Feature: John Miehle

I didn't learn John Miehle's name until recently, but I've known many of his images for awhile (and I'm sure lots of you will recognize some of them too). He was a still photographer for a ton of movies in the 30s and 40s, but according to his IMDb page, he was uncredited for almost all of them! I can't figure out why this was - perhaps this has to do with the different style of crediting in older films, and it didn't become standard to mention a film's still photographer until later? Anyway, he did the stills/publicity shots for a lot of really well-known and awesome films - Top Hat, Flying Down to Rio, Kitty Foyle, Stage Door, Swing Time, Follow the Fleet, Bachelor Mother, Vivacious Lady - and to point out a very obvious trend, was apparently attached by the hip to Ginger Rogers, career-wise! Seriously, go take a look at his IMDb page, and you'll see almost every movie Ginger did in the 30s, he was a still photographer for! Was she personally employing him? Anybody who can explain this, or who can say with certainty that it was purely coincidence or that they happened to work well together, let me know! Again the internet is pretty sparse with info on him.

Anyway, he did work on non-Ginger films - Rain, with Joan Crawford (some images from this displayed here), and Rope with Jimmy Stewart, for example. I've only included images of his that I saw were explicitly described as being his own, since I don't know if perhaps more than one still photographer was employed in the aforementioned films. Let me know if I've credited something incorrectly.
And now for his lovely images of beautiful people. Enjoy!
Stunning portrait. I don't normally think Joan Crawford is super beautiful, but this image is something else. 

More Joan.
Famous Fred and Ginger still. 
From Vivacious Lady.
Camilla Horn. Don't know what project this was for...
A candid of Ginger!
Le swoon! Le sigh!! Gorgeous picture, drool-worthy boudoir clothing and setting. From Professional Sweetheart, which I have yet to see but have been dying to for awhile!

JC again. Her outfit looks strangely modern to me, maybe it's the not-so-flattering-to-the-waist oversize belt...? 

Marilyn Monroe, a wild card (amongst all these 30s images). I wasn't sure that this was really his image, because of the era... and the color.... but I found multiple sources crediting him to this image, so I'll go with it. Let me know if this is wrong. 

One of my favorite Ginger images, ever. 
- Emily


  1. So THAT's who took these photos! Fascinating!

  2. You've been unearthing so many familiar and yet unfamiliar artists recently. It's fabulous! Ginger Rogers is a favorite of mine--they should show more of her not-on-video films on TCM.

  3. Thanks! I love having an outlet to share this aesthetic/historical nerdiness with likeminded people!
    And yes, they totally should. I mean, I love her more well-known movies, but I don't know how I have any chance to see titles like Professional Sweetheart and Rafter Romance! And every time someone somewhere uploads a smaller film of hers on YouTube (I have no idea how they get them), it ends up getting deleted within a few days for licensing problems!

  4. Gorgeous pictures! Thank you!

  5. Thank you to all of you who enjoy my father's pictures and talent. No, he wasn't hired by Ginger. He worked for the studio, she admired his work and demanded he do most of her photos. I have many of his photos and the many stars he worked with including, Al Jolson, Alan Ladd, Gary Grant, Joel MacRae and others. Dad started his career in the 20's. The earliest picture I have is in 1921. He would have been only 19 a the time.

    My mother was Ginger's hair stylist and invented the Page Boy hair for Ginger in the 30's. Mom and Ginger remained friends for life. Mom helped Ginger with her autobiography.

    Mom and Dad met while working on the Astaire, Rogers pictures. Ginger was my God Mother. My father and Robert Taylor were best friends and he was my God Father.

    If you would like any more info feel free to contact me. My dad had some pretty famous roots in California.

    John Miehle

  6. I forgot to mention, yes, the color picture of Monroe was taken by my Dad. There are actually a couple more around. My mother was Monroe's hairstylist on a couple films. My uncle was an asst. director on her films.

    John Miehle

  7. John that is so interesting. I knew that Ginger's hairstylist and photographer were married but wondered how they met etc. I am glad to know that your mother and father remained friends with Ginger throughout their lives. Do you have any stories of interest of Ginger and you? I would love to read them.

  8. Both Professional Sweetheart and Rafter Romance can bought now. Rafter Romance from TCM and Professional Sweetheart as a Spanish release. Both wonderfully clear prints.
    Just to say Ginger Rogers is a very important part of my life. That might sound strange to others, only I have loved both her and Fred Astaire from childhood, and in recent years Ginger has become an example of how to live life. She was a shining light in a not always nice Hollywood.