The ‘Sixties Set’ comes from a unique collection of personal photographs taken from the private, leather-bound albums of Robin Douglas-Home. They reveal Robin to be a naturally gifted photographer who offers an intriguing insight into the behind-the-scenes life of some of the world’s most recognised 1960s celebrities.
In 1960, a charismatic, high profile journalist, photographer, and nightclub pianist, Robin Douglas-Home, met Frank Sinatra at a society dinner in London.
Robin’s media reputation stemmed as much from his well-reported romantic liaisons with Swedish and British princesses and famous actresses, as his close family relations, which included the senior politician (and subsequent Prime Minister) Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and the top West End playwright, William Douglas-Home.
Over dinner, Sinatra and Douglas-Home really hit it off, which led to Robin being invited by Frank to write the first authorised biography of the legendary singer. Frank was adamant that the book should concentrate on the singer’s musical and professional qualities, rather than his well-chronicled personal life. Sinatra was first published in 1962, and has recently been re-released on Amazon Kindle.
To make sure the biography unerringly captured the true spirit of Sinatra, the writer-cum-photographer and his famous model wife, Sandra Paul, were invited to spend six months living with Sinatra at his stunning Palm Springs mansion. This is where many of Robin’s photographs presented in this exhibition originated.
It was during this time researching what made Sinatra tick that Douglas-Home also met and photographed many of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Rex Harrison, and Sinatra’s composer-arranger, Nelson Riddle.
From Palm Springs, Robin visited Washington, staying with the British Ambassador where he met and befriended President Kennedy and his wife, Jackie. JFK was happy to be photographed in the White House, and Robin also spent time with Jackie, when she went to stay with her sister, Lee Radziwell, in the summer of 1962. Such was the strength of Robin’s relationship with the Kennedy’s, he was able to photograph some extraordinary images of the family with their ‘guard’ down.
This is a selling exhibition, the original images from Robin’s evocative albums have all been digitally enhanced to enable them to be offered as either framed or mounted prints by the leading framers, John Jones in North London.