During the 1930s and 40s an imposing Art Deco studio on the Whitechapel Road was a magical place where ordinary East End Jewish families could be transported to the glamour of Hollywood. It was home to the Jewish photographer Boris Bennett (1900-85) whose photographic studio became the sought-after place for Jewish wedding couples and families wanting to look like Hollywood film stars.
Vintage Glamour in London’s East End, curated by Michael Greisman and published by Hoxton Mini Press, is the first book dedicated to the work of Boris Bennett. Considered the doyen of Jewish studio portrait photog- raphers, Bennett was famed for bringing Hollywood glamour to an impoverished area of East London.
Bennett was able to photograph up to 60 bridal couples on a single Sunday – the traditional day for Jewish weddings. Crowds would often gather outside to witness the scenes. Boris Bennett’s distinctive style used romantic flowing dresses, lavish bouquets and immaculate tailoring. Perfection and beauty was his purpose and he made all his brides glamorous. One commentator described him as the man who brought Hollywood to the East End, and today his work is much sought-after by collectors.