"American Girl in Italy" redux

by Jeremy Gilbert August. 20, 2011 18612 views

The iconic “American Girl in Italy” photo by Ruth Orkin, taken in Florence in 1951.

When I first visited Florence Italy in 1992, I asked my friend Teri (on the right) if she knew where the photo was taken. She did, so I photographed her and a friend Rocco at the spot. I didn't have a copy of the photo at hand, so I had to go by memory of how the shot was framed etc.

Well, there was an article in The Globe and Mail mentioning the photo's 60th anniversary was August 22, and that there'd be a show of Orkin's photos from that day there. On Saturday, I was in the area of the gallery, the Stephen Bulger Gallery, so I dropped in. To my surprise, there was an opening going on. I showed the photo above to the people running the gallery and they said someone in the other room might be interested in seeing the photo. Not sure who they meant, but I saw a tall and elegant woman there. I asked her “Are you the American girl in Italy?” and she said “yes!” She loved my photo and graciously agreed to pose for my camera by the photo which made her famous. (Orkin died several years ago)

Ninalee Craig (known as Jinx Allen in 1951) poses by the iconic Ruth Orkin photo of her, 2 days before the 60th anniversary of the photo.

Ninalee dons the very shawl she wore in the photo. She is also wearing the broach she had in the image.

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Davorka ČEoviä‡ 10 years ago

interesting post ! like it !

10 years ago Edited
Paolo Martini 10 years ago

Very interesting ....and so lovely story my friend...!
Thank you for sharing

10 years ago Edited
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