Archive for April 2011
About fifteen minute west of the city of Montego Bay lies the Tryall Estate. When Toni Frissell took the enchanting photograph above at Tryall’s hilly 2,200-acre plantation, its world famous golf course didn’t exist yet. The golf course and many villas it would sprawl nearby would not arrive until 1958 — ten years after Frissell popularized the dreamlike landscape of Jamaica in her photos for Harper’s Bazaar.
Before being developed by the influential American businessmen in the 1950s, the Tryall Estate was only a storied, but forgettable outpost of Britain’s imperial past. Originally an English fort, it began cultivating sugarcane in the 1660s making it one of the oldest sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Sugarcane plantations and works were irreparably destroyed in the Slave rebellion of Christmas 1831, and the property was sold to the illustrious Anglo-Irish family of Browne. They turned the property firstly into a coconut plantation, and when it became unprofitable, into a hotel. Frissell actually was invited to take photos of the estate for its reopening after the WWII.
In the 1930s, Frissell introduced an important addition to the fashion photography. She was the first person to take models away from the confines of the studio and to photograph them in exotic places around the world. These dramatic settings and the animated poses she created would lead to a whole new type of fashion image. Although the era’s practices of using studios never actually went away, Frissell’s techniques would be soon copied by many.