Sunday 23 October 2011

Derry Moore,12th Earl of Drogheda ... gentleman photographer

Henry Dermot Ponsonby Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda (born 1937) is a British photographer known professionally as Derry Moore.
He inherited the title of Earl of Drogheda from his father, Charles Moore, 11th Earl of Drogheda (1910-1989). His mother was the former Joan Eleanor Carr (died 1989).
Moore was educated at Eton then studied painting at Oskar Kokoschka's School of Seeing in Salzburg, Austria. After working briefly as a travel agent in New York City, he took photography lessons from British photographer Bill Brandt.
Moore began his professional career in 1973, with a commission from the American magazine Architectural Digest. He photographed The Princess of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry in 1992. His portrait, taken at Kensington Palace, was used by the Princess on her Christmas cards for that year.[1] Moore has also photographed Queen Elizabeth II, the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Indira Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, David Bowie, Iman and Helena Bonham Carter, as well as many other personalities.
Moore is now a leading photographer of architectural interiors and an illustrator of books, and has had portraits published in Country Life and Vogue. He has thirty-seven portraits in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.
Moore has been married to:
Eliza Lloyd (died 7 May 2008). She was the only daughter of Stacy Barcroft Lloyd Jr. and his first wife, the former Rachel Lambert; a stepdaughter of American banker and art collector Paul Mellon; and a great-granddaughter of Jordan Wheat Lambert, co-inventor of Listerine mouthwash.[3] They married on 15 May 1968 and divorced in 1972. Caroline Kennedy was a flower girl at the couple's wedding, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. was a page.[5] Viscount and Viscountess Moore had no children, and she did not remarry.
Alexandra Nicolette Henderson, the daughter of British diplomat Sir Nicholas Henderson and his wife, the former Mary Barber (née Cawadias). They married in Paris in 1978 and have three children: Benjamin Garrett Henderson Moore, Viscount Moore (born 1983), the Hon. Garrett Alexander Moore (born 1986), and Lady Marina Alice Moore (born 1988). As Alexandra Henderson, Lady Drogheda has been a producer and editor in the news and current affairs departments of the BBC, BBC1 and Talent TV.

by Derry Moore, Carl Skoggard, Joseph Holtzman (Editor)
Rooms celebrates some of the most luxurious and bold interiors around the globe and the creative sensibilities of the people who inspired them. Beautifully presented through the sumptuous photography of Derry Moore, the 12th Earl of Drogheda, who has photographed some of the world's most spectacular houses as well as some of the most notable personalities in their homes, this lavish publication captures the dramatic spirit of such vivid figures as famed early twentieth-century interior designer Elsie de Wolfe, contemporary design legend Renzo Mongiardino, and the legendary decorator Nancy Lancaster. Moore revolutionized interior photography with his technical acuity, his keen aesthetic eye and his impeccably good taste. This vision culminated in an inspired collaboration with Joseph Holtzman, founding editor in chief and art director of the celebrated and controversial magazine Nest, and one of the great tastemakers of our age. This long-awaited book features a remarkable array of spectacular interiors, ranging from Charleston, the famed haunt of the Bloomsbury group, to India's Falaknuma Palace, Pauline de Rothschild's London residence, and Chatsworth Hall, Derbyshire, the grandest of English country houses.

AT HOME WITH DERRY MOORE; An Insider's View Of Society's Vanishing Rooms
Published: November 23, 2006 in The New York Times

''I CALL this the Berlin Wall,'' Derry Moore said, waving his hand at a barricade made of suitcases in the kitchen of his Notting Hill house. Behind it, a small spaniel, still not house-trained, was desperate to escape.
''No, puppy,'' he said, quietly and not quite firmly. ''You can't come out yet.'' Even addressing this frantic creature he seemed incapable of making his voice sound anything other than calm and exquisitely thoughtful.
Mr. Moore, a celebrated photographer, appears to be thoughtful to the point of fastidiousness in everything he does. Although the National Portrait Gallery in London has 37 of his portraits in its collection, he is best known for his meticulously composed interior pictures, which have been published in magazines like Architectural Digest and Nest, and have now been collected in the book ''Rooms'' (Rizzoli).
The book's 225 photographs, taken from 1975 to 2005 at luxuriously furnished houses and apartments in India, England, France, Ireland, Spain, Italy and New York, demonstrate an almost preternatural sensitivity to, and care with, the interactions of light, space, color and form that give a room its character. Mr. Moore uses natural light as much as possible, and often shoots interiors from a series of subtly progressing angles, allowing viewers to feel as if they are walking through the rooms -- whether in Pauline de Rothschild's London apartment, Elsie de Wolfe's Versailles pavilion or the Marques de Casa Torres's town house in Madrid.
''He captures the air and the space in a room, like a magician,'' said Joseph Holtzman, the founding editor of Nest, a quarterly magazine that folded in 2004 but is remembered for its original treatment of interiors. ''And he can capture surface like no one else. You can tell, looking at his photographs, if a chair is covered in silk velvet or wool velvet.''
Mr. Holtzman, who commissioned many of the later photographs in ''Rooms'' for Nest and selected the images in the book from Mr. Moore's archive, has a theory about the photographer's attunement to his subjects. ''Though he won't ever talk about his background -- he's too modest and well mannered; that would be bad taste for Derry -- the fact is, it means he understands a room,'' he said. ''He's comfortable in the sort of houses he photographs.''
Mr. Moore, 69, is also known as Lord Drogheda, an Irish title dating from 1661, and he looks very much the part: tall and thin, patrician and perfectly dressed in a blue-and-white striped shirt and a Nancy Lancaster-yellow sleeveless sweater, he seems to exemplify the adage about good grooming being an extension of good manners. He has a dry sense of humor and a fine regard for the absurd, and is self-effacing in a classic English manner that is meant to have disappeared by now. His grandmother, the Countess Drogheda, was at the center of London's artistic life early in the last century; her son, Mr. Moore's father, the 11th Earl of Drogheda, was the managing director of The Financial Times, a governor of the Royal Ballet and the chairman of the Royal Opera House for 17 years.
Clearly, Mr. Moore grew up in a series of very good rooms. Did he always know that he wanted to photograph them?
''Not at all,'' he said, speaking now in his drawing room, which has pale green walls, sisal carpet, Regency furniture and Staffordshire figures, and epitomizes the slightly faded, slightly cluttered, ''Colefax and Fowler meets Charleston'' English style of many of the rooms he photographs.
Instead, he attributes his career to a book called ''A Night in London'' -- a 1938 collection of pictures of British social life by Bill Brandt, England's preeminent 20th-century photographer -- which he discovered when he was in his 20s. After graduating from Cambridge and spending a summer studying painting and the art of observation at Oskar Kokoschka's School of Seeing in Salzburg, he found himself without direction, working in New York at a travel agency ''because I simply didn't know what to do with myself,'' he said. He was so struck, and galvanized, by ''A Night in London'' that he asked if he could work as Mr. Brandt's assistant.
''He said no, that that would bore him, but that he would give me some classes instead,'' Mr. Moore said. ''He was not a teacher who said do it like this or do it like that. You just had to be tremendously alert.''
Soon after, Mr. Moore was given his first commission, by Paige Rense, the editor of Architectural Digest. ''It was in 1973, and she had just been made editor, and so it was an incredibly lucky time to meet her,'' he said. Thirty-three years later, he still works full time as a photographer. ''Oh, I have to,'' he said, looking at me in surprise. Recently, he was in Brooklyn shooting for Men's Vogue, and he is compiling another book, a photographic essay on London.
He credits finding his rambling house -- actually three small mid-19th-century houses joined to form one large town house -- to the same kind of good fortune he had with Ms. Rense. This area of Notting Hill, now one of the most expensive and desirable parts of London, was far from it in 1979, when he and his wife, Alexandra Henderson, a television producer, bought the first house.
''A year later we were very lucky because the next-door house was for sale, and we bought it and let it out,'' he said. ''About two years later, the same happened with the third. We took over the whole house when we needed the space for the children.'' (They have three, 18 to 23 years old.)
Have the places he has photographed influenced the way his own house looks?
''Going to India in 1976 and photographing Falaknuma was very important to me,'' he said of an unoccupied but perfectly maintained palace in Hyderabad built in the 1880s. ''It changed the way I looked at things.'' The palace interiors, like many of the rooms in the book, impressed him as at once idiosyncratic and timeless.
If Mr. Moore's own house bears little physical resemblance to an Indian palace, it does share certain qualities with the ones in his book, particularly in the way it manages to appear at once so much of its place and so singular: the piles of books and clusters of prints that crowd every surface of the drawing room; the armchair covered in pale linen with a trim hinting of pink; the needlepoint cushions that have long belonged to the sofa and are all unmistakably English, yet distinctive.
The decoration of the house was a collaboration between Mr. Moore and his wife, he said, and on the whole a happy one. He clearly feels strongly about the need for a home to express the personality of its occupants, and is more drawn to spaces decorated by the people who live there than to those done by professionals.
''I don't think anything in that book was done by an outside decorator, except maybe Nureyev's apartment in Paris, but even that was distinctive and could only have been his,'' he said.
''The rooms in the book are rather idiosyncratic,'' he continued, and, as documented by his camera, ''they've sort of stood the test of time.'' In the years since he photographed them, though, many of the houses have been torn down or changed beyond recognition. The trompe l'oeil mural painted by Rex Whistler for Lady Diana Cooper's drawing room has long since been painted over, and the palace of Falaknuma will soon become a hotel. The kinds of interiors Mr. Moore has spent his life documenting are getting harder to find.
''I think the rarest thing now when I go to places,'' he said, ''is to be surprised.''

Rooms Lady Diana Cooper

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