Welcome to The Louise Brooks Society Portrait Galleries. The pages noted below collect and organize photographic portraits of Louise Brooks, one of the most photogenic actresses of the 20th century. This collection of images — comprehensive but by no means complete — largely focuses on images dating from the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Brooks’ remarkable beauty was captured by many of the leading photographers of her time. Among them were Edward Steichen, Nickolas Muray, James Abbe, Alfred Cheney Johnston, Otto Dyar, Edward Thayer Monroe and George P. Hommel, to name the most prominent. Later in life, Brooks was photographed by other noted photographers, including Horst P. Horst and the actor / celebrity portraitist Roddy McDowell. Studio photographer Eugene Robert Richee, employed by Paramount in the Twenties and Thirties, was the one photographer who captured Brooks’ likeness best and most often. His image of the actress holding a single strand of pearls has become something of a 20th century icon. It is, without a doubt, the best known and most widely reproduced image of Brooks.
There are dozens of images contained in the galleries listed below. Images are organized according to various criteria, such as photographer (when known), theme (when appropriate), or photographic session (when apparent). Generally speaking, these galleries focus on studio portraits — though also included are a handful of publicity stills and fashion shots, as well as a few informal, candid portraits.
Not found in these galleries are other forms of imagery – such as movie stills. Such material is found elsewhere on the website. It’s also worth noting that many of the images found in these galleries contain a serial number, such as P123-123. These numbers, assigned by Paramount or other studios where Brooks worked, are allied to particular films and photo shoots. They are useful for dating and organizing the images
Please note: some images of Brooks found on the internet — such as those for sale on eBay — are sometimes colorized, cropped. or digitally altered. In these galleries, preference is given to the original black & white images in as close to their original state as possible. The few tinted or hand-colored examples shown were “colorized” at the time, and are presented as variants or vintage examples of their kind.
Early & Later Images
By M.I. Boris
By Edward Thayer Monroe
By Eugene Richee
Beggars of Life
As “The Canary”
Brooks at Home
With G.W. Pabst
The quality of any given image contained here depends on its source. Sometimes, that source is far removed from an original print — which now sell for hundreds and often thousands of dollars. If you know of other portraits, or can provide further information (i.e., name of photographer, dates, studio number, etc…) or a better scan of any of the images depicted on these pages, please contact the LBS. The society is always interested in documentation of any kind. These images — drawn from the collection of the Louise Brooks Society as well as from private sources — are offered here for the edification and enjoyment of viewers. Additional images, as well as additional galleries, will be added on an ongoing basis.