Sokolsky Melvin

Would you buy a fine art print?

Melvin Sokolsky (1933–2022) was born and raised in New York, where he began his distinguished career as a Fashion photographer. At the age of twenty-one, he was invited to become a staff photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. Over the next few years, he worked on the creation of four prestigious magazines: Esquire, McCall’s, Newsweek and Show. His world-famous works take part in exhibitions of major international museums and galleries, are published in magazines and monographs.

In 1963, the young Melvin Sokolsky created an unprecedented series of works with models hovering over the streets of Paris in huge transparent spheres. Inspired by the images from the canvas “Garden of Earthly Pleasures” by Hieronymus Bosch, the Sokolsky series combines surrealism and the world of high fashion, as well as the growing popularity of street photography in the fashion industry at that time. The main work of the series, “Bubble over the Seine, 1963”, captures the French model Simone D’Aillencourt in a couture suit, standing in a plexiglass sphere above the surface of the Seine. The photos that appeared on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar became a sensation and to this day remain one of the most influential fashion images of all time.

In 1969, Sokolsky embarked on a new career in television commercials as a director / cameraman. Sokolsky has been honored with twenty-five Clio Awards, and is the recipient of every major television commercial award including the coveted “Director’s Guild” nomination.  Many of Sokolsky’s commercials are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

In 1972, Sokolsky, now versed in all phases of special effects and cinematography, presented a computerized zoom lens that he had designed to the Academy of Arts and Sciences that was subsequently nominated for an Academy Award.

Today, the works of Melvin Sokolsky are included in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) and the Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, USA).

In 2017, Sokolsky’s work “Bubble over the Seine, 1963″ was selected by the curators of the Victoria and Albert Museum as the most iconic fashion image for the last 100 years.

In 2020, Sokolski was awarded the title of “LEGEND Melvin Sokolsky” in the revived Canon program “Explorer of Light”.

The photographer is the author of a number of monographs, including ” Melvin Sokolsky: Seeing Fashion “(2000),” Melvin Sokolsky: Archive “(2009),” Melvin Sokolsky: Paris 1963/1965 ” (2011).

Selected Exhibitions


“Beauty and Style. The History of Fashion Photography from the collection of the Still Art Foundation”, Hermitage Museum, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

“Melvin Sokolsky’s High Flight” personal exhibition, Lumiere Gallery, Moscow, Russia


“Icons of Style” exhibition, The J. Paul Getty Museum, USA


The Empty Quarter Fine Art Photography ~ Fashion Story of A Lifetime ~ Bringing together a collection of celebrated fashion photographers ~ Melvin Sokolsky Dubai UAE


“Melvin Sokolsky Seeing Fashion” exhibition, The Fahey/Klein Gallery, USA


Melvin Sokolsky’s personal exhibiton, Corso Cosmo 10 Gallery, Milano, Italy


“Ideas” exhibition, Staley/Wise Gallery, New York, USA


“Appearances”exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK


“Shots of Style” exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

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