About

Karen Graham, Suga, Alvin Chereskin, and Skrebneski, New York 1977
Karen Graham, Suga, Alvin Chereskin, and Skrebneski, New York 1977

Then

About

Victor Paul Skrebneski was born in Chicago on Dec. 17, 1929 to Anna and Joseph Skrebneski. His mother owned a restaurant and his father worked in the steel industry.

During the 1940s, Skrebneski studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and Moholy Nagy’s Institute of Design. He spent the early 1950s taking pictures in New York and Europe. He opened his Chicago studio in 1952.

Skrebneski’s advertising, portrait, art photography, books, and gallery shows made him one of the most significant photographers of the 20 th century. He died in Chicago at the age of 90 on April 4, 2020.

Exhibitions
  • 1969 Deson-Zaks Gallery, Chicago
    Wickersham Gallery, New York
    New York Cultural Center
  • 1973 The Arts Club, Chicago
  • 1974 Center for Photographic Arts, Chicago
  • 1975 Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • 1977 Chicago Cultural Center
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
  • 1978 The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
    Civic Center, Chicago
  • 1980 Richard Gray Gallery: “Raquel’s Birthday Photographs,” Chicago
  • 1982 Photogalerie: The Compagnie, Hamburg
  • 1983 Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco
  • 1985 Evansville Museum of Arts & Science, Indiana
  • 1987 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
  • 1988 The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
  • 1989 The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
    Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
  • 1990 The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
    Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
    Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
  • 1991 Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
    Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
    Il Palazzo Communale De Modena, Modena, Italy
    International Cultural Centre of Brera, Milan, Italy
    Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans
    ‘Valentino, Thirty Years of Magic,’ Musei Capitolini, Rome (group)
    Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago (group)
    Duke University Museum of Art, Durham, Nc (group)
  • 1992 “Beautiful” Evansville Museum of Arts and Science (group)
    The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
    Museo Ken Damy, Brescia, Italy
    Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago (group)
    Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy
    Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
  • 1993 Galerie Vallois, Paris, France
  • 1994 The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
    Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1995 “Hollywood Portraits” Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles
    “Target Market” Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago (group)
    The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
  • 1996 “Photographers in the 90’s: The Midwest Photographers Project” Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (group)
  • 1997 “Nus Feminins” Galerie Vallois, Paris (group)
    “Clothed” Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 1998 “Fashion at the Beach” Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, Florida (group)
    Contemporary Arts Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA (group)
    Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, Ca (group)
    The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
  • 1999 “Skrebneski Photographs—Chicago Chefs” City Gallery Chicago
    “Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years” Museum of Contemporary
    Photography, Chicago
    “Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years” Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles
    “Skrebneski” Galerie Vallois, Paris
    “Skrebneski” Galerie Laurent, Paris
    “Skrebneski” The Mayor Gallery, London
    “Ghost in the Shell” Los Angeles County Museum of Art (group)
    The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
  • 2000 “Steppenwolf 25 Skrebneski” City Gallery, Chicago
  • 2001 “Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years” Eckert Fine Art, Naples, Florida
    “Skrebneski Photographs: Actors-Directors and a Critic” The Richard and Ellen Sandor Family Gallery at The Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago (Inaugural Exhibition)
    The Arts Club, Chicago (group)
  • 2002 “New Photograms and Archival Work” Tigerman Himmel Gallery, Chicago
    “Skrebneski’ University Club of Chicago
    “Visage” City Gallery, Chicago
  • 2003 “Homage to Francis Bacon’ Tigerman Himmel Gallery, Chicago
    Polo Ralph Lauren, Chicago (group)
    Polo Ralph Lauren, New York (group)
  • 2004 Antiques Chicago (group)
    Blackbird Salon Series, Chicago
    “On With The Show” City Galley, Chicago
    “Moving Pictures’ 40th Anniversary Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago
    “Skrebneski” Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, Indiana
  • 2005 ‘Skrebneski Then and Now” Maya Polsky Gallery, Chicago
Permanent Collections
  • 1988 George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
  • 1989 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
  • 1992 Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 1992 Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • 1992 Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 1992 Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • 1996 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
  • 1996 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
  • 1998 Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • 1998 Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • 1999 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
  • 2016 Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Books and Catalogs
  • 1969 Skrebneski Nudes, Ridge Press
  • 1978 Skrebneski Portraits A Matter of Record, Doubleday & Company, Inc.
  • 1982 Skrebneski. Hamburg: Photogalerie: The Compagnie (Exhibition Catalog)
  • 1987 Skrebneski: Five Beautiful Women, Little Brown And Company
  • 1989 Skrebneski. Chicago: The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
    (Exhibition Catalogue)
  • 1989 Skrebneski: Blackwhite & Color. Boston: Bulfinch Press,
    Little Brown And Company
  • 1990 Skrebneski. New York: Charles Cowles Gallery
    (Exhibition Catalogue)
  • 1991 Skrebneski: The Edge of Light. Milan: Grafis Edizioni
    (40 Year Retrospective. Italian Exhibition Catalogue)
  • 1993 Skrebneski. Paris: Galerie Vallois (Exhibition Catalogue)
  • 1994 Bravi, Lyric Opera of Chicago. New York: Abbeville Press
  • 1995 The Art of Haute Couture. New York: Abbeville Press
  • 1996 Women. Los Angeles: George Rice & Sons
    (Saks Fifth Avenue Couture Book)
  • 1998 The Givenchy Style. Paris: Vendome Press
    (Covers And Major Photography)
  • 1999 Skrebneski Photographs-Chicago Chefs. Chicago:
    City Gallery, Department of Cultural Affairs
    (Exhibition Catalogue)
    Skrebneski: The First Fifty Years. Zurich: Edition Stemmle
  • 2000 Steppenwolf 25 Skrebneski. Naperville, Il: Sourcebooks, Inc.
  • 2004 Moving Pictures-Skrebneski, 40 Years of Moving Pictures From The Chicago International Film Festival. Zincografica U.S.A. Skrebneski. Homage To Francois Bacon, Homage To Cy Twombly And Portrait. Lubeznik Center For The Arts (Exhibition Catalogue)
  • 2007 Skrebneski Seduced. Self-Published
  • 2014 Skrebneski Ageing. Self-Published
  • 2019 Skrebneski Documented, Rizzoli USA
Awards
  • 1972 Hugo Award-Chicago International Film Festival
  • 1977 Leo Award- Communicator of The Year, New York
  • 1983 The Art Directors Club-62nd Annual Exhibition, New York
  • 1985 The Fashion Group of Chicago-Establishing The Skrebneski
    Scholarship Fund for Photography
  • 1988 Aibi-Apparel Industry Board Inc., Chicago
  • 1989 Gold Hugo Award-Chicago International Film Festival
  • 1989 The Fashion Group International, New York
  • 1989 The School of The Art Institute of Chicago-Auxiliary
    Board
  • 1993 Victor Skrebneski Way-Honorary Street Sign Dedication by The City of Chicago On Lasalle Street Between Schiller and Goethe
  • 1993 Victor Skrebneski Day-Proclamation by Richard M. Daley,
    Mayor of The City of Chicago August 20, 1993
  • 1995 Human Spirit Award-Institute for Psychoanalysis, Chicago
  • 1995 Doctor of Arts Degree, Honoris Causa; Columbia
    College Chicago
  • 1995 Established The Victor Skrebneski Scholarship In Fashion at Columbia College, Chicago
  • 1999 Performing Arts Chicago Honoree, Chicago
  • 1999 Doctor of Fine Arts Degree, Honoris Causa; The School
    of the Art Institute of Chicago (8)
  • 1999 City Gallery in The Historic Water Tower Opens As A
    Permanent Photography Gallery. Fund Raising and Design By
    Victor Skrebneski.
    September 08, 1999, Proclamation by Richard M. Daley, Mayor
    of the City of Chicago, Victor Skrebneski Day In Chicago.
    November 17, 1999, Resolution Adopted by The City Council of The City of Chicago, Illinois Applaud Victor Skrebneski For His Work And Contributions to The City of Chicago Presented by Mayor Richard M. Daley.
  • 2000 Apparel Industry Foundation Inc. Chicago
    Water Tower Park Opens July 7. Designed by Victor Skrebneski.
    Dedication by Mayor Richard M. Daley
  • 2001 March 28, 2001. Proclamation by Richard M. Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago, Victor Skrebneski Day In Chicago.
    Aibi Award
  • 2002 Cultural Award from University Club of Chicago For Outstanding Contribution to The Cultural Life of Chicago.
    Keep Chicago Beautiful, 15th Annual Awards Dinner.
    Beautification Award.
  • 2004 Pratt Institute Legends Award, New York
  • 2008 Legendary Landmarks Award, Chicago. For extraordinary contributions to Chicago’s civic and cultural skyline.
  • 2014 Lucie Foundation, Lucie Award for Fashion Photography. New York
On Film
  • 1965 Chicago Public Library
  • 1971 Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.
  • 1973 Fashion Group of Chicago
  • 1981 Chicago Cultural Center
    The Art Institute of Chicago
  • 1990 International Center of Photography, New York
    Photo Midwest, Chicago
    The Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
    St. Louis Art Museum
    University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
    Hallmark, Kansas City
  • 1991 The Fortnightly of Chicago
  • 1992 American Society of Magazine Photographers, Chicago
    Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.
    The Art Institute of Chicago
  • 1993 American Society of Magazine Photographers, Boston
  • 1994 Chicago Historical Society
    Multi-Media, Toronto
  • 1995 The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
    Mid-States Imaging And Photographic Association, Chicago
  • 1996 Women’s Athletic Club, Chicago
    American Society of Media Photographers, Houston
    The Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
  • 1997 Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago
  • 1998 The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
  • 1999 Costume Council of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • 2000 American Society of Picture Professionals, Chicago
    The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
    American Society of Picture Professionals, Chicago
    The School of The Art Institute of Chicago
    Fort Dearborn Photo Forum, Chicago
  • 2003 Polo Ralph Lauren, Chicago
    The Fortnighly of Chicago
  • 2004 Women’s Athletic Club, Chicago
    School of The Art Institute of Chicago
    American Society of Picture Professionals, Chicago

Now

What he created

Victor Skrebneski left us with a body of work that includes nearly one million photographs, photograms, sketches, and sculptures. He collected beautiful objects and artwork, lived in breathtaking interiors, and enjoyed friendships with both famous and ordinary people.

Join us as we begin to tell his story through the photography, relationships, and art that defined his life.

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