In 1909, Condé Montrose Nast bought then 17-year-old Vogue magazine and established Condé Nast Publications. A few years later, it began publishing Dress & Vanity Fair (quickly shortened to its current title). In the roughly hundred years since, photographers have been snapping away for these and other Condé Nast titles, capturing politicians, celebrities, fashion, cultural icons, and moments of daily life.
Most of those photos were never published. A photographer might take 100 pictures, while a magazine would use only the one that best fit the needs of the moment. Condé Nast originally referred to its archive, which currently holds more than 1.5 million photographs, as the “morgue.” Now, it has partnered with Getty Images to make upwards of 30,000 images from that archive available online. The first of the Getty Images Condé Nast Collection becomes available today (March 25)—through license to Getty subscribers, though a spokesperson says some will be available “a-la-carte, without a subscription.”
More than 20,000 images have already been delivered. The big draws, of course, are works from Vogue and Vanity Fair. Shawn Waldron, archive director at Condé Nast, and Bob Ahern, Getty’s director of archival images, revealed a curated peek of 43 photographs yesterday. Among them were photos of figures from James Baldwin to Coco Chanel, and the photographers represented included a number of famous names, such as Horst P. Horst, Robert Frank, and Patrick Demarchelier.
“There’s so much out there that isn’t scanned,” Ahern told Quartz. “No one really gets access. To partner with Condé Nast to be able to put those pictures on a platform and distribute them is exciting.”
Here are a few highlights from the collection, and information on each from Getty.