EYE CANDY

The Most Prolific Celebrity Photographer Never Published Her Work

Mick Jagger and Jann Wenner on a boat

No photographer was better positioned to get publicity than the late Camilla McGrath. In 1963, the Italian countess married Earl McGrath, a gregarious American record executive and art gallerist, putting her right at the intersection of bohemia and high society. From then on, Camilla documented her social life extensively, amassing 103 albums’ worth of gatherings like Jerry Hall’s baby shower and Anjelica Huston’s wedding. But, considering them private mementoes, she never sold nor even exhibited them. Now that they finally have come to light, in the book Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath, it’s understandable why. “The kids and the stars were treated the same way,” says Griffin Dunne, whose aunt, Joan Didion, was one of McGrath’s closest friends. “I’d drop by after my shift at Beefsteak Charlie’s and finish the day eating a plate of leftover pasta with Mick Jagger.” That’s exactly how McGrath photographed them, too—so naturally, so unpretentiously, that Andy Warhol, Fran Lebowitz, Jerry Hall, David Hockney, and the rest who ran in their circle might as well be family. See for yourself, here.

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Camilla McGrath

Sharon Tate and Brian Morris during Sunday brunch at the McGrath’s suite in the Chateau Marmont, 1968. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

A chorus line featuring David Hockney in the Teatro di Verdura at Marlia, Camilla McGrath’s family home, in Italy, 1977. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Cy Twombly at work in New York, April 1959. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Mick Jagger, Earl McGrath, and Robert Graham at Graham’s wedding to Anjelica Huston at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, 1992. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Joan Didion and her Bouvier des Flandres, Casey, while hosting guests including Carl Bernstein and Calvin Trillin, Thanksgiving 1990. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Fran Lebowitz and an angry swan from the reflecting pool at Camilla McGrath’s family home in Italy, Marlia, 1983. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Diane von Furstenberg and John Waters at the 35th anniversary dinner of Leo Castelli Gallery in New York, 1992. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Jacqueline Kennedy, Lee Canfield, and Dino on a visit to Marlia, 1955. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Annie Leibovitz at the McGraths’ apartment, where she joined friends like Eric Clapton and Bianca Jagger after a Rolling Stones show at Madison Square Garden, 1975. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Jerry Hall’s baby shower at home in New York, 1983. Front row, left to right: Liz Derringer, Geraldine Smith, Mick Jagger, Rosy Hall, and Rana. Second row, left to right: Billie Blair, Chris Royer, Cindy Hall Lehman, Jerry Hall, Daphne Hall, and Joanna Ellis. Third row, left to right: Bonny Burn. Back row, left to right: Vivian Marshall, Tina Chow, Fran Lebowitz, Lisa Robinson, Barbara Bennett, Clarice Rivers, and Bethann Hardison. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Anjelica Huston at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles for her wedding to Robert Graham, 1992. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Beatrice von Rezzori, Michael McClure, and Robert Rauschenberg at a party on a Staten Island ferry after the opening of Rauschenberg’s MoMA show, 1977. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Mick Jagger and Jann Wenner sailing around Mustique, 1984. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Diana Vreeland, then special consultant to the Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.

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Camilla McGrath

Jann Wenner, Brice Marden, Jane Wenner, and Richard Gere at a birthday party for Sabrina Guinness and Jann Wenner in New York, January 1985. Featured in Face to Face: The Photographs of Camilla McGrath.