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Kary H. Lasch

The Golden Years

Anthony Steel and Anita Ekberg marry in Florence
Anthony Steel and Anita Ekberg marry in Florence, 1956 ©Kary H. Lasch, Bridgemann Images

Kary H. Lasch was daring and a social chameleon who gained access to the stars like no other. For the first time in 30 years, a treasure trove of this Swedish based photographer’s photographic of such stars as Brigitte Bardot, Salvador Dalí, Picasso, Grace Kelly, Britt Ekland, and many more are being exhibited. The exhibition The Golden Years opens at Fotografiska on January 19.

Salvador Dalí grimacing
Salvador Dali grimacing, Port Lligat, Catalonia, Spain, 1950s. © Kary H. Lasch / Bridgeman Images
Brigitte Bardot posing at the beachfront, dressed in red and blue, Cannes, France, 1955
Brigitte Bardot posing at the beachfront, dressed in red and blue, Cannes, France, 1955. © Kary H. Lasch / Bridgeman Images

Opened doors that were closed for everyone else

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Swedish photographer, collector, mad hatter, and charmer Kary H. Lasch (1914–1993) was one of his era’s most sought after photographers. With his impressive network of contacts and his fearless and open-minded attitude, he was able to open doors that were closed to almost everyone else.

The Golden Years features the most important photographs from the pinnacle of Kary H. Lasch’s career – the 1950s and early 1960s. It includes personal portraits of some of the biggest stars of the time (Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Brigitte Bardot, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, and Britt Ekland) and a series of images from the glamorous Cannes Film Festival, which he documented over three decades.

“It's impossible not to be swept away by Kary's incredible energy”
Lisa Hydén, Director of Exhibitions.

Kary Lasch’s unique, playful, and iconic treasure trove of photographs, which has been hidden away for 30 years, is being exhibited at Fotografiska Stockholm from January 19 to April 14, 2024.

“It's impossible not to be swept away by Kary's incredible energy, with a sense of invincible curiosity striking you. It's the black and white elegance of a bygone fifties that meets a color palette from the sun-bleached beaches of Cannes,” says Director of Exhibitions Lisa Hydén.

Sophia Loren on the night train to Stockholm
Sophia Loren on the night train to Stockholm, 1950s. ©Kary H. Lasch, Bridgemann Images

Travels that came to light

Kary Lasch’s childhood city of Prague fed his fascination for architecture and cityscapes while leading him to photography. When Lasch died in 1993 from complications of cancer, he left behind a treasure trove of nearly 500,000 photographs. In 2019, his archive was acquired by Michel Hjorth and Christer Löfgren, who spent four years ensuring its preservation by digitalizing and organizing the material.

- It’s incredible to botanize in an archive that few people have seen. In the process, new details about Kary’s incredible life and many travels came to light, says Michel Hjorth and Christer Löfgren.

The exhibition The Golden Years is produced in collaboration with the Kary H. Lasch Archive and Collection.