Name: Gleb Derujinsky
Birth place: New York, U.S.
Birth date: 19 March 1925
Death place: Durango, Colorado, U.S.
Death Date: 9 June 2011
Languages: Russian, French, English
Gleb Derujinsky (19 March 1925 – 9 June 2011) was an American fashion photographer. He worked for Esquire, Look, Life, Glamour, Town and Country and The New York Times Magazine, before shooting extensively for Harper’s Bazaar. Eileen Ford, founder of Ford Models agency, described him as an “early visionary on a path that others were to follow”.
Gleb Derujinsky was born in New York City in 1925, and named after his father Gleb W. Derujinsky, an immigrant of Russian nobility who became a successful sculptor. The Derujinsky family served the Russian tsars as far back as Peter the Great, and relatives include the composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the painter Mikhail Vrubel.
Derujinsky’s mother, the classical pianist Alexandra Micholoff Derujinsky, died in the late 1950s.
Derujinsky’s first languages were Russian and French, and he went on to learn English while enrolled at the Trinity School in New York.
In 1942, Derujinsky became a corporal in the army and stayed until after the end of World War II. His language abilities and negotiation skills contributed to his being promoted to Staff Sergeant halfway through his tours, and learned Morse Code in just 30 days
Upon his return to New York City, he opened his first photography studio with his veteran loan. By February 1948, he landed his first cover with Collier’s magazine. Shortly thereafter, he began working for Harper’s Bazaar Jr., an offshoot of Harper’s Bazaar aimed towards college-age women that became a supplement of Harper’s Bazaar. Derujinsky was retained as a freelance photographer, working alongside Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe for editors Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland and art director Alexey Brodovitch.
Citing the great photographer Horst P. Horst as a key influence, Derujinsky photographed the Paris Spring collections from 1953-1963 and was known for his outlandish ideas and travel images taken in remote locations all over the world at time when travel, especially by air, was far from common.
“Gleb Derujinsky is an original, the Indiana Jones of the fashion photographers. He flew his own private plane to exotic places—models and edi- tors in tow. Wow, the stories that came back! His Paris collection photos nailed the vibe of people in everyday life, juxtaposed with elegance, a metaphor for his notion of Paris at the time.”
Derujinsky also freelanced for Look Magazine, Town and Country, The New York Times Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal, Esquire, Glamour, Seventeen, Life, and Good Housekeeping.
Working extensively with Carmen Dell’Orefice and his then-wife Ruth Neumann-Derujinsky, his work also featured many of the era’s top models, from Jean Patchett and Jean Shrimpton, to Nena Von Schlebrügge and Iris Bianchi.
“It’s a tribute to Gleb Derujinsky that his best photographs for Harper’s Bazaar could be mistaken for Avedons. He spun narratives of Parisian chic and New York joie de vivre that have lost not a bit of their charm.”
Gleb Derujinsky, l'œil de la mode
Glenda Bailey, rédactrice en chef, Harper’s Bazaar.
«Je n’ai jamais confondu ses photos avec celles d’ Avedon ou qui que ce soit d’autre. Le style de Gleb était indubitablement personnel. […]
Il n’avait besoin de copier personne. Il avait sa propre vision et connaissait son équipement. Il avait sa manière à lui de voir la lumière et l’environnement.
Avec lui, j’avais le sentiment de faire partie d’une vision sortie de son esprit et qu’il réalisait dans une photographie.»
Carmen Dell’Orefice, mannequin.