Mae West

Once Upon Our Time

In late 1964, Diane Arbus spent two days at the Santa Monica home of the legendary film star Mae West. The photoessay and accompanying text (also written by Arbus) was published in Show magazine in January 1965, originally under the title “Emotion in Motion” and later “Once Upon Our Time.” In her typical wry, penetrating manner, Arbus captured an honest, if not harsh portrait of the 71-year-old West as an aging, bygone starlet, dressed in a négligée and recounting salacious stories from her Hollywood heydays.

Mae West in the film Go West, Young Man (1936)
West photographed by Allan Warren in 1973

A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.

Diane Arbus
photo credit: Eva Rubinstein

The Collection of James and Paula Ladwig

The collection of Grammy Award winning designer James Ladwig and his wife Paula, also a designer, reflects a remarkable life together doing what they loved — traveling, collecting, racing vintage cars and being immersed in the world of music. Wright is proud to present this diverse and intriguing collection.