Irish-born Edward Quinn (1920-1997), lived and worked as a photographer from the 1950s on the French Côte d'Azur. During the golden fifties this was the playground of celebrities from the world of show biz, art and business. The rich and the famous came to the Riviera to relax. But the movie stars knew how much their off-screen image counted and Quinn, who was at the right place at the right time, was able to get spontaneous and enchanting images which caught the charm, sophistication and chic of a legendary era.
Amongst a great number of celebrities captured on film by Quinn may be mentioned: Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Marlon Brando, Sophia Loren, Aristoteles Onassis, Maria Callas, Winston Churchill, Somerset Maugham.
In 1951, Quinn met and photographed Pablo Picasso for the first time. This first encounter with Picasso was to be greatly influential to Quinn himself and to his subsequent work. The two developed a close friendship which lasted until Picasso's death in 1973. Quinn is the author of several books and films published about the Spanish artist. Starting in the 1960s Quinn concentrated his work on artists, amongst them Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali, Graham Sutherland, David Hockney. In the late 1980s Quinn developed an intense relationship, similar to his friendship with Picasso, with Georg Baselitz. It was the success of his work on Picasso that led Quinn to collaborate with more artists. These collaborations resulted in more books including: Max Ernst (1976); Graham Sutherland, complete graphic work, 1922-1978 (1978); George Baselitz (1988) and George Baselitz - Eine fotografische Studie (1993).
Since 1992 until his death in 1997, Quinn lived near Zurich with his late Swiss wife, Gret. Today, his estate is managed by his nephew Wolfgang Frei, who grew up visiting his uncle "Ted" in the summer months at his home in the French Riviera. Quinn's photographic legacy is enshrined in his archive, which contains about 180,000 negative alongside thousands of vintage prints and paraphernalia from his career.