The albums these are taken from present Granard’s designs for the Beverly Hills homes of some of the 1940s brightest personalities, including actress and pin-up model Betty Grable (“I became a star for two reasons, and I’m standing on them”), Henry Fonda (holdout juror of “12 Angry Men,” father of Jane and Peter), and Bert Lahr (the Wizard of Oz’s Cowardly Lion). For Lahr’s house, Granard collaborated with Paul Revere Williams, a once-overlooked Black architect who has recently been championed as a pioneer in his field. Also included is the residence of Mike Lyman—whose “Mike Lyman’s Grill” was a favorite haunt of Hollywood elite and (perhaps for that reason) F. Scott Fitzgerald—as well as the houses of several lesser-known figures.
The images are all Maynard Parker’s, the influential architectural photographer whose glam-home shots capture the domestic aspirations of the post-War era. Parker is a Hollywood counterpart to Ezra Stoller and Julius Shulman, evoking the easy luxury of home life to their high-minded vision of the American civic realm. He got his start in the pages of the Home Beautiful under the editorship of Elizabeth Gordon, an arbiter of homemaking taste who railed against the International Style—practiced by the likes of Mies, Richard Neutra, and Phillip Johnson—as cold and even totalitarian.
The covers of the albums are imprinted with the name of the homeowners, save for one which reads “Paul Granard Interiors”. Maynard Parker is a well-collected photographer, but complete albums of his are rare. These albums were created to showcase Paul Granard’s work, presumably so they could be shown to potential clients.
These pictures are all taken from the website of Daniel Oliver Gallery. These are all the images that are scanned and on the website. I learned of the Daniel Oliver Gallery when I visited the antiquarian book fair in my city last fall. When I was leaving I picked up a booklet that lists the various exhibitors which I have been working my way through ever since. It has many wonderful things and I hope to finish going through it by next fall when the Boston Book Fair returns.