Layne Nielson collection on George Hoyningen-Huene, ca. 1953-1985

Finding aid prepared by Rebecca Bucher in 2014 with assistance from Megan Hahn Fraser; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
©2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Title: Layne Nielson collection on George Hoyningen-Huene
Collection number: 2232
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.8 linear ft. (2 document boxes)
Date: ca. 1953-1985
Abstract: Baron George Hoyningen-Huene, celebrated fashion photographer and motion picture color consultant, photographed for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar from 1925 to 1945 and coordinated aesthetics for film director George Cukor. In addition to drafts of Baron George Hoyningen-Huene’s unpublished memoirs, the collection includes his estate settlement and published and unpublished drafts of biographies of Hoyningen-Huene by William Ewing and Oreste Pucciani and related correspondence.
Language of Materials: Materials are primarily in English, some materials in French.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Layne Nielson Collection on George Hoyningen-Huene (Collection 2232). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Layne Nielson, 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Bucher, with assistance from Megan Hahn Fraser, 2014.

Biography

Baron George Hoyningen-Huene was a fashion photographer and motion picture color consultant known for capturing a sense of natural motion in his subjects. Born in 1900 to a Baltic Baron and to the daughter of an American diplomat to Russia, Hoyningen-Huene grew up in the privilege of aristocratic Imperial Russia. Although his father was chief equerry of the Imperial Court and his father’s family had been Russian subjects for over 200 years, Hoyningen-Huene did not consider himself Russian. While growing up he and many other people in his circle indulgently entertained socialist theory, to which Hoyningen-Huene had been introduced by his tutor with whom he was in love, Ivan Ivanovich, they were disillusioned by the Revolutions of 1917 and lost hope that the Revolutions would effect positive change. In 1917, he and his mother fled Yalta after their house was raided in the night, leaving Hoyningen-Huene without a country or permanent home. Hoyningen-Huene went on to finish his education at a boarding school in the English countryside.
When Hoyningen-Huene turned eighteen, he joined the British Army as an interpreter to fight alongside the White Army in the Russian Civil War and was quickly introduced to the horrors of the war. He could never hold a commission because of his national identity, so he enrolled as a private in the Royal Fusiliers. In Russia and on the return journey after the war ended, he suffered several serious illnesses, including typhus. Before he enrolled in the Army he was disturbed by the lack of interest and awareness of the situation in Russia on the part of people around him. When he was in the Army, people on the streets would be shocked to see someone in active service and could not imagine what war in which he was still fighting.
After the Russian Civil War ended and Hoyningen-Huene recovered, he needed to earn a living. One of his first jobs was as an extra for the Epinay Studios of Éclair Films, where he paid close attention to the lighting of the sets. His sister Elizabeth (Betty) designed fashion under the name Madame Yteb and offered him a job sketching dresses, which inspired Hoyningen-Huene to receive formal training in drawing and painting. After unwittingly illegally sketching for a design pirate, Hoyningen-Huene began illustrating for Harper’s Bazaar. After he sold Vogue a collection of photographs of the most beautiful women in France on which he collaborated with the American photographer Man Ray, he began working for Vogue, first illustrating the magazine and then also designing photography sets. One day, when Hoyningen-Huene was preparing a set for a Vogue photo-shoot, the photographer never showed, and Main Bocher (Mainbocher) instructed Hoyningen-Huene to shoot the set himself. Shortly after, Hoyningen-Huene became the chief photographer for French Vogue.
Hoyningen-Huene did not like photography with the aesthetic of a stiff, staged portrait. His artistic ideal was a photograph in which the model appeared caught in motion natural to her. Hoyningen-Huene worked at Vogue from 1925-1935, at which point he abruptly left Vogue. Known for his temper, Hoyningen-Huene was said to have flipped over a table in a restaurant during the disagreement that resulted in his leaving Vogue, although he later denied that portion of the account in good humor. He went to work at Harper’s Bazaar, although his partner at the time, Horst P. Horst, continued to work at Vogue. Horst had been Hoyningen-Huene’s protégée, and his departure provided Horst the opportunity to branch out as chief photographer.
Although Hoyningen-Huene continued working at Harper’s Bazaar until 1945, in 1936 he began a long series of travels, about which he published several books. After he left Harper’s Bazaar, he began teaching professional photography at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. He also began working for Hollywood director George Cukor in a job Cukor created for him, color-coordinator. He oversaw the technical methods of developing the film in color as well as the use of color on the set and in the design of the film.
Hoyningen-Huene wrote his unpublished memoirs of his life growing up in the Russian Court, his experience fighting in the Russian Civil War, his career and artistic philosophy, and anecdotes of his many encounters with celebrities. He and Oreste Pucciani were collaborating on a book that was never finished about the photographer’s life. Baron George Hoyningen-Huene died in 1968 of a heart attack.
After his death, photographer William (Bill) Ewing wrote a book on Hoyningen-Huene and his photography. Pucciani contributed to the book through sharing Hoyningen-Huene’s memoirs that he possessed, through his editing services, and through a timeline he created of events in Hoyningen-Huene’s life and in the world. Pucciani later gave this collection to Layne Nielson.

Scope and Content

The Layne Nielson Collection on George Hoyningen-Huene ranges from circa 1953-1985, with the bulk of the materials produced before 1968 or from 1980-1983. The collection includes drafts of Hoyningen-Huene’s memoirs, his notes on his life, and several pieces of his correspondence regarding his memoirs. Some of his notes are directed to Oreste Pucciani, and Pucciani may have assisted with the organization of one of the drafts. Hoyningen-Huene and Pucciani were collaborating on a book about the photographer’s life. In addition to Hoyningen-Huene’s memoirs, the collection includes material related to Pucciani’s contributions to William (Bill) Ewing’s book The Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene including: correspondence, a draft of the text possibly edited by Pucciani, and drafts and research for material Pucciani contributed to the book. The collection also contains two brief biographies of Hoyningen-Huene by Pucciani as well as the Baron’s estate settlement.
Hoyningen-Huene’s memoirs reflect on his childhood in the Russian court, his early political experiences and beliefs, his experience fighting in the Russian Civil War and recovering in Russian and British hospitals, his career and artistic philosophies, and anecdotes of celebrities and intelligentsia. Anecdotes that may be of interest relate to: Barbette, Katherine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, Salvador Dali, Joseph Pilates, Greta Garbo, George Cukor, Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, and Princess Frederica of Hanover (Queen Frederika of Greece), and others.

Organization and Arrangement

Box 1 contains drafts of GHH's memoirs and the settlement of his estate. Box 2 contains notes and correspondence related to GHH and Pucciani's collaboration on GHH's memoirs, as well as correspondence, notes, and drafts of timelines related to Pucciani's contributions to Ewing's book Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene.

Related Oral History

The following oral history is available through the UCLA Library Center for Oral History Research:

Related Material

Oreste F. Pucciani Papers (Collection 585). Available at Library Special Collections, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7395327 

Container List

Box 1, Folder 1

[Draft 1] undated.

Scope and Content Note

Includes an early draft of the beginning of GHH’s memoirs, including the chapters “History,” and “III. Reality.” One holograph page and 31 typescript pages with annotations. Subjects include fleeing Russia during the Revolution, his thoughts on Rasputin, musings on religion, his experience and sexual exploits in high school at a British boarding school, and his decision to join the British Army.
Box 1, Folder 2

[Draft 2] undated.

Scope and Content Note

Typescript draft of 81 pages with holograph notes. Like several of the other drafts, it looks as if it was typed on multiple typewriters. A note on it reads “Huene’s Text.” GHH’s address is written across the top.
Box 1, Folder 3

[Draft 3] undated.

Scope and Content Note

Includes two notes: “corrected version” and “pages 47, 48 missing.” 81 typescript pages. This draft has incorporated the holograph edits on Draft 2. The contents of Draft 1 begin on page 19. This draft includes more information about his relationship with his parents as a child, more background on his father’s family, and more insight into his political views as a teenager.
Box 1, Folder 4

[Draft 4 part 1] undated.

Scope and Content Note

Folder 4 (pages 1-80) and folder 5 (pages 81-185) contain the original for the photocopied draft in folder 6. Because many pages are cut and pasted or stapled together, this was probably photocopied to enhance readability and protect during reading. While there are several slight variations in pages included or in page order, Draft 5 does not appear to include any additional notes to Draft 4.
Like Folder 6, Folder 4 begins with several variations of the first couple pages. These differ from folder 6.
Box 1, Folder 5

[Draft 4 part 2] undated.

Scope and Content Note

Folder 4 (pages 1-80) and folder 5 (pages 81-185) contain the original for the photocopied draft in folder 6. Because many pages consist of passages pieced and stapled together, this was probably photocopied to enhance readability and protect during reading. While there are several slight variations in pages included or in page order, Draft 5 does not appear to include any additional notes to Draft 4.
Folder 5 concludes with three miscellaneous pages not included at the end of folder 6.
Box 1, Folder 6

[Draft 5] undated.

Scope and Content Note

This text is a photocopy of a typescript draft with photocopied holograph notes, the original of which can be found in Folders 4 and 5. A note reads “Pucciani’s Text.” This appears to be Pucciani’s copy of GHH’s memoirs, which he planned to publish, possibly with the help of Pucciani. Pucciani may have played a role in the organization of materials and may have made annotations. This draft is a photocopy of the draft contained in folders 4 and 5, with the exception that beginning of the draft differs. In this folder, multiple versions and possibly orderings precede the rest of the text, which is approximately 200 pages long.
The narrative touches on his relationship with his parents and his experiences growing up in Russia. It gives a full account of his time serving in the British Army fighting in the Russian Revolution and recovering in austere British hospitals. It gives an account of his professional life and his artistic philosophy. The narrative is rich with name-dropping and anecdotes of his encounters with celebrities, intelligentsia and other famous people through his social life as an aristocrat and through his artistic work. These people include Barbette, Georges Gurdjieff (Gurgiev), Cecil B. DeMille, Katherine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, Isadora Duncan, Cecile Sorel, Sergei Eisenstein, Salvador Dali, Joseph Pilates, Greta Garbo, George Cukor, Marilyn Monroe, Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, and Princess Frederica of Hanover (Queen Frederika of Greece). Preceding the main draft are photocopies of correspondence (the originals of which can be found in Folder 10) between Ewing and Pucciani regarding Pucciani’s contributions to Ewing’s book. Also inserted within the draft is a stapled packet of typed excerpts from GHH’s memoirs that appears to be typed on a word processor.
Box 1, Folder 7

[Placeholder pages] undated.

Scope and Content Note

10 sheets of paper, each with a single subject such as “Hollywood,” “Tunisia,” “Experimental” at the center of the page. Probably refer to photographs.
Box 1, Folder 8

[GHH Estate Settlement] 1982 April - 1983.

Scope and Content Note

A copy of the settlement of GHH’s estate. George Cukor was administrator of the will. In the settlement of the estate, Cukor was left GHH’s house and its contents, which are listed and include his photography equipment. Four other people inherited, including his sister Helen D’Huene and Lyssardt Hoyningen-Huene, both of whom received money and the remainder of his estate. Elizabeth Buzzard, his other sister, received $10. Horst P. Horst (H. P. Horst) received his prints and negatives.
Also includes a typescript edited manuscript entitled “From HOYNINGEN-HUENE. MEISTERBILDNISSE. By H.K.Frenzel. TRANSLATION.”
Box 2, Folder 1

[Biography drafts] 1953 or 1954 and circa 1980.

Scope and Content Note

Includes drafts of biographies of GHH by William Ewing and Oreste F. Pucciani. Includes a photocopied typescript draft with original and photocopied holograph edits of chapters 1-8 of the biography William Ewing published in The Photographic Art of Hoyningen-Huene. Possibly edited by Pucciani. Includes a sixteen page unpublished biography of GHH written by Pucciani in 1953 or 1954. Also includes chronologies of events in GHH’s life and a timeline of his life and world events written by Pucciani circa 1980.
Box 2, Folder 2

Congreve [Publishing] and Ewing Correspondence 1980 August - 1983 May.

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence largely regarding terms, details, and logistics of Pucciani’s contributions to Ewing’s book, including the creation of a timeline and editing assistance. Includes originals of the correspondence found in Box 1 Folder 6. Correspondents include Oreste Pucciani, Mary Claycomb of Congreve Publishing, Bill Ewing, and Kathy Huffman, Curator of Long Beach Museum of Art.
Box 2, Folder 3

G. Huene (1900-68) [biography by Pucciani] 1970 August.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a 7 page article on GHH by Pucciani dated August 1970 and published by the Friends of the Libraries, University of Southern California, in which he quotes from GHH’s memoirs. Typed. Photocopied. A published copy can be found in Box 2 Folder 4. 30-40 single sided pages of notes on “G’s Memoirs.” Holograph. Pencil, with annotations in pen.
Box 2, Folder 4

George – Exhibit - USC 1970-1985.

Scope and Content Note

Materials related to exhibits on GHH, including invitations to exhibits, correspondence to Pucciani from Special Collections USC, “Hoyningen-Huene” Friends of the Library exhibit catalog, featuring Pucciani’s essay from Box 2 Folder 3, and clippings.
Box 2, Folder 5

Additional Notes (By George) Ca. 1965.

Scope and Content Note

Includes correspondence from Barbette, Main Bocher (Mainbocher), and GHH’s sister Helen. Typescript and holograph notes, the subjects of which include: Hollywood work and social life, Russian weddings, Vogue work, his relationship with his father, anecdotes from Paris, childhood memories, and the Russian Revolution. Some notes designated for Pucciani. Also included are a timeline of 1920 and a list of quotations and photographs with copyright permission.
Box 2, Folder 6

Notes (OFP) Ca. 1964.

Scope and Content Note

Includes a small notepad with notes and page number references. Also includes holograph notes, some of which are clearly written by Pucciani about GHH, including some notes on Rudi Gernreich stationery. Other notes appear to be from the perspective of GHH and it is unclear who wrote them. Includes 5 typescript pages of the chapter “History” with notes in multiple pens. Also includes a clipping about the spy Michael Goleniewski who claimed to be the Grand Duke Alexei. In her letter in Box 2 Folder 5, Helen references an Alexei imposter.
Box 2, Folder 7

Chronologies Ca. 1965-1967.

Scope and Content Note

Holograph chronologies written by Pucciani on the topics of: George’s service in the civil war, “Holy Roman Empire – The Rise of the Power of Russia – The Baltic Nobility,” Baltic Barons, Russian history, GHH’s life, and “Power and Rule in the World.” Also included are clippings and holograph charts of relationships between different countries.
Box 2, Folder 8

George IV undated.

Scope and Content Note

Includes holograph notes, some by Pucciani. Also includes four pages of typescript with holograph notes from the section “War.”
Box 2, Folder 9

George H-H. undated.

Scope and Content Note

Includes holograph notes on notecards by GHH, including an outline and a note on sexuality and his photography. Also includes holograph notes and outlines (presumable by Pucciani) on the order of the memoir, visual art, and GHH’s photography.
Box 2, Folder 10

Ch. III. Notes and Preparation 1917-1918 Ca. 1961.

Scope and Content Note

Four holograph pages of notes on the subject of GHH’s childhood, with page number references, presumably by Pucciani. Also includes a clipping about Cukor is which Huene (GHH) is mentioned.
Box 2, Folder 11

[Early Draft] undated.

Scope and Content Note

A holograph draft with some annotations, numbered pages 6-41. Covers the topics of beliefs at the time of the Russian Revolution, religion, the dog incident with his father that resulted in their estrangement, and his tutor Ivan Ivanovich.
Box 2, Folder 12

Congreve [Publishing] - Chronology (1 of 2) 1982.

Scope and Content Note

Includes materials related to the chronology Pucciani wrote for Ewing’s book, including correspondence with drafts sent to Mary Claycomb and holograph and typescript notes and drafts of time lines of world events and GHH’s life events. Includes typescript notes on legal events in the United States made for Pucciani.
Box 2, Folder 13

Congreve [Publishing] - Chronology (2 of 2) 1982.

Scope and Content Note

Includes materials related to the chronology Pucciani wrote for Ewing’s book, including correspondence with drafts sent to Mary Claycomb and holograph and typescript notes and drafts of time lines of world events and GHH’s life events. Includes typescript notes on legal events in the United States made for Pucciani.