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Chronology

1885George Van Ness Lothrop (Huene’s grandfather) is appointed Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Alexander III by President Cleveland. He moves to St. Petersburg with his wife Elmira and their daughters.

1897The start of Marxist Social-Democratic Party in Russia.

1900George Hoyningen-Huene is born in St. Petersburg, third child of Baron Barthold von Hoyningen-Huene and Anne née Van Ness Lothrop.

1903Huene learns English and is inspired by his socialist-influenced tutors.
Social Democrats split into Menshevik and Bolshevik parties in Russia.

1905Family spends part of the winter at their estate Nawwast in Estonia.

1907Family spends summer in Bad Kreuznach, Germany and St. Moritz, Switzerland.

1910Huene begins schooling

1911Visits Berlin with his aunt and is deeply impressed by classical sculpture.

1912Spends winter in Reichenhall, Germany, and Cannes, France. Spends summer in Florence, Rome and Sorrento, Italy. Visits Mount Vesuvius, near Naples, Italy.

1914Learns French. Spends summer at Nawwest. Attends Imperial Lyceum in St. Petersburg.

Sisters become nurses. Huene and his mother move to Yalta, Ukraine.

1915Summer at Blagoveshchenskoye, Ukraine. Visits father in Nawwast, which will later be occupied by the German army in 1917.

1917Huene’s sister Helen moves to Yalta. Red Sailors search the house and place the family under temporary house arrest. Huene returns with his mother to St. Petersburg while Helen remains in Yalta.

Huene and his mother travel to England, and he is begins attending school in Surrey.

Huene’s other sister Betty moves to France.

Strikes and riots in St. Petersburg lead to revolution; Tsar Nicholas II abdicates the throne; Great Civil War begins.

1918Huene’s father escapes from Estonia. Helen also joins the family now living in France.

End of WWI; but continuation of conflict between the Bolsheviks and anti-Bolshevik White army. British send Expeditionary Forces to help the White army.

Execution of the former Tsar and the rest of the Russian Imperial family.

1919Huene leaves England for southern Russia as an interpreter with the British Expeditionary Force. Travels to Batum, Tsaritsyn, Ekaterinodar, and Taganrog.

The White Army advance on Petrograd, but are turned back by the Bolshevik forces.

1920Huene begins new year in Novorossiisk, where he nearly dies after contracting typhus. Evacuated to London. Flies to Paris and travels to Cannes to meet his parents. Returns to Estonia briefly to see if anything can be salvaged from the estate. Returns to Paris.

The White Army is defeated by the Bolsheviks.

1921Huene works on a series of odd jobs, including one which takes him to Poland for a brief trip. Works as a film extra in Paris.

1923Works for sister Betty at her Paris fashion house Yteb. Studies at open art studios, then takes lessons from Cubist painter André Lhote.

1924Collaborates with Man Ray on a fashion photography portfolio, later sold to a New England department store.

1925Huene’s freelance drawings appear in Fairchild’s Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar. He signs contract with French Vogue as an illustrator and works as a photographic assistant to American photographer Arthur O’Neill.

1926Huene takes his first photographs for the Condé Nast magazine Vogue.

1927Takes his first photographs for Vanity Fair. Also produces several amateur films.

1928Huene’s photographs are exhibited for the first time in the Premier Salon Indépendant de la Photographie in Paris.

1929Visits New York City and Hollywood, California for the first time. Exhibits in the landmark exhibition Film und Foto, first staged in Stuttgart, an ambitious international survey showcasing new photography and cinema.

1930Meets Horst P. Bohrmann (later Horst P. Horst) in Paris. Together they visit Cecil Beaton in England.Visits Hammamet in Tunisia, the site of his future vacation home.

1932Visits Berlin on assignment.Travels to London, New York, Chicago and Hollywood, as well as Hammamet again, where he decides to build a vacation home for himself and Horst.

Rents the studio of photographer Howard Coster in London.

Designs the lighting for Chez Bricktop, a new nightclub in Paris.Horst begins career for Condé Nast.

Hoyningen-Huene: Meisterbildnisse
is published in Germany. While visiting Berlin on assignment, Huene sees G. W. Pabst making the film L’Atlantide, based on the novel by Pierre Benoît, and decides to make his own version.

Hammamet vacation house is under construction.

1933Makes a fashion documentary film for French Vogue around this time.

1934Designer Elsa Schiaparelli and photographer Cecil Beaton visit Hammamet.

Huene commissions Christian ‘Bébé’ Bérard to paint Horst’s portrait.

Vanity Fair sends Huene to Hollywood.

1935Leaves Condé Nast because of a contract dispute and immediately starts working for Harper’s Bazaar in Paris. Travels regularly to New York on assignment and makes regular visits to Hammamet.

Meets Hollywood film director George Cukor around this time.

1936Huene isolates himself at Hammamet.

Photographs people and scenery, while on an African expedition with a group of amateur explorers later that year.

Meets French writer and humanist André Gide.

1938His book African Mirage, the Record of a Journey is published.

Spends more time in New York and undertakes numerous advertising assignments.

Visits Greece for the first time, as well as Southeast Asia and Australia.

1939Second trip to Greece.

Remains at Harper’s Bazaar in New York during World War II, as he is beyond the age for military service.

1940Active in Greek war relief. Photographs published in US Camera and Coronet.

1942Works on the book Hellas and an exhibition to benefit the Greek War Relief Committee.

Photographs published in Popular Photography magazine.

1946–1947Settles briefly in Mexico, after leaving Harper’s Bazaar. His books Mexican Heritage and Baalbek/Palmyra are published.

Becomes a naturalized American citizen.

1946–1950   Makes three documentary films in Spain, including The Garden of Hieronymus Bosch.

1947Leaves Mexico for Southern California with the encouragement of George Cukor. Starts teaching at the Art Center School of Los Angeles.

1950Works briefly for Flair magazine. Exhibits at the USA Mission to Greece. Visits Egypt.

Photographs published in US Camera magazine.

1951Films Daphni: The Virgin of the Golden Laurels in Greece.

1954Starts work as a color coordinator for Hollywood films, initially working on George Cukor’s A Star is Born starring Judy Garland. He contributes to twelve subsequent films, up until 1963.

1955Takes mescalin in a controlled experiment for Aldous Huxley.1963   Receives Photokina Photographic Award, Cologne.

1965Participates in group exhibition Glamour Portraits at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Conceives of a television project on the French Revolution and the life of Napoleon I.

1967Participates in an Oral History project organized by the University of California, Los Angeles. Starts working on his memoirs with Dr. Oreste Pucciani.

1968Dies from a stroke at his Los Angeles home.

1970Exhibition and catalog produced by The Friends of the Libraries of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, on the occasion of a bequest of Huene’s rare books. Edited by Oreste Pucciani with tributes by Katherine Hepburn, George Cukor, Horst, Leo Lerman, Main Bocher, and others.

1971Huene’s photographs are included in Horst’s book Salute to the Thirties, with Foreword by Janet Flanner.

1980Retrospective exhibition and catalog by William A. Ewing, Eye for Elegance: The Photography of George Hoyningen-Huene, produced by the International Center of Photography, New York. The exhibition travels to London, Paris, Minneapolis, and Long Beach, California.