More than 50 black-and-white photographs from this ad campaign will go on view at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on March 14 in the exhibition, “What Becomes a Legend Most?: The Blackglama Photographs from the Collection of Peter Rogers.” The exhibition is on view until June 30.
The photographs showcased in the exhibition are from the heyday of the campaign, 1968 to 1993. Photographs feature a stellar lineup from opera singer Leontyne Price and musician Ray Charles to actors Shirley MacLaine and Rosalind Russell.
This iconic “What Becomes a Legend Most?” campaign was conceived in 1968 for the Great Lakes Mink Association to create awareness about the high-quality mink fur produced by farmers in that region of the United States. Out of this need an iconic brand and advertising campaign was born: the brand name, “Blackglama,” the “What Becomes a Legend Most” tagline, and the idea to use stars of stage and screen wearing Blackglama furs (which they were allowed to bring home after the photo shoot).
Rogers, the art director for the campaign, found the talent, then cosseted them with limousines and personal attention. He worked with subjects that were, to some extent, worshipped as icons.
From 1969 to 1972, Richard Avedon was the primary photographer. Bill King then photographed the campaign until his death in 1987. Other photographers represented in the exhibition are Francesco Scavullo, Brigitte Lacombe and Jeanloup Sieff.
This is a rare opportunity to see legendary figures — epitomizing glamour of a bygone time — to celebrate their contributions to American culture, and to recognize the lasting impact of the Blackglama ad campaign.
“The Blackglama Gala: A Legendary Evening honoring Peter Rogers” will be held March 16 and include music, fine cuisine and special guests, set against the backdrop of the Ogden Museum and this exhibition.
The Patrons Party begins at 6 p.m. followed by the Gala at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $150 for the Patrons Party and Gala; and $100 for just the Gala.
For tickets online go to www.ogdenmuseum.org/events/blackglama. For information contact Colleen Connor at 504-539-9616 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rogers, a Mississippi native and legendary advertising executive, now lives in the New Orleans French Quarter.