Shown to her advantage in this photo from 1928, Paula Gellibrand was a society beauty married to (and about to divorce) Don Pedro José, First Marques de Casa Maury, a Spanish-Cuban racing car driver, playboy and London cinema owner known to friends as “Bobby.”
Of more lasting significance was the photographer, Emil Otto Hoppé, one of the most important art, portrait, travel and documentary photographers of the modern era, the peer of Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen. Among the notables he photographed were George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, A.A. Milne, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, G.K. Chesterton, Vaslav Nijinsky, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Albert Einstein, Benito Mussolini, Queen Mary and King George. In search of new subjects and images, he traveled to Africa, Germany, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the United States, Cuba, Jamaica and the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaya, India and Ceylon.
In 1954, when his life’s work was sold and interfiled, by subject, into a vast collection of stock photography, it was lost to historians and history. Fifty years later, it was rescued and cataloged, and is now accessible again, establishing Hoppé’s reputation as one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers.