Beginning this month, Ghostprint Gallery presents a palatial photographic display, "Unseen Versailles," featuring photographs from the 1981 book of the same name.
Acclaimed international photographer Deborah Turbeville chose to approach the French palace complex in 1979 as an abandoned place redolent with clinging mysteries and ghosts. Versailles was the portal into a history both real and created.
The project was initiated by book editor Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who provided the entrée for getting Turbeville into the hidden crannies of Versailles.
Turbeville started with Versailles in January, when the grounds were quiet, the furniture in many rooms covered, and the outdoor statues wrapped. She had some pallid, languid figures pose amid the architecture.
Barbara Peters, a Richmond resident and a business colleague of Turbeville's in New York City for 20 years, explains, "She got into the back rooms, imagined the past and used her creative liberty to represent that past."
Peters recently met Ghostprint director Geraldine Duskin, a longtime admirer of the photographer, and thus this show. Turbeville is attending the opening. Peters says the artist chose to exhibit this work because it connects with Richmond's passion for architecture and history.
Turbeville once explained, "I have an instinct for finding the odd location, the dismissed face, the eerie atmosphere, the oppressive mood …"
Her career spans several books and a distinguished line of magazine work, from Vogue to Architectural Digest. Her latest collection is a retrospective of her work, titled Past Imperfect.
The exhibition runs from Dec. 4 through Jan. 30, 2010. For more information, call 344-1557 or visit ghostprintgallery.com .