I was not familiar with Milton Gendel until I read the November issue of Vanity Fair. Gendel, an American who has lived in Rome for close to sixty years, decamped to Italy following World War II, working as a cultural and public relations consultant at Olivetti and later at Alitalia. In addition, he has been a correspondent at ArtNews since 1954. But what Gendel is really noted for- and what earned him an article in Vanity Fair- are his photographs of his friends. Having traveled in rarefied circles for decades, Gendel's friends have included the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, the Cushing Sisters, Lady Diana Cooper, and Stavros Niarchos. Needless to say, these are no ordinary photographs of ordinary friends.
The 92 year old certainly seems to be having a "moment" what with two concurrent retrospectives of his photographs. The American Academy in Rome is currently exhibiting "Milton Gendel: Portraits" through the end of this month, while a second show at Museo Carlo Bilotti runs until January 8, 2012. Gendel also recently moved to a new apartment after having lived in some fabulous apartments in various Roman palazzos. Coincidentally, I just found a 1992 House & Garden article on his former apartment in a Renaissance palazzo. For those of you who recently read the Vanity Fair article, I thought it would be interesting to show the 1992 apartment photos here.
The master bedroom.
A detail shot of the sitting room's ceiling. The 17th century polychrome ceiling depicts an array of birds, including a turkey from the New World. A shot of the sitting room itself is at the very top of the post.
Another shot of the sitting room.
All photos from the November 1992 issue of House & Garden, Oberto Gili photographer.