Current News and Events


Hana Knizova, for her portrait commission for the National Portrait Gallery as the winner of the 2013JKNWA, took the above photograph of the actress Olivia Colman which was displayed at the Gallery during the run of the Taylor Wessing Award 2014.

The winner of the 2014 John Kobal New Work Award in association with the Taylor Wessing Award at the National Portrait Gallery was Laura Pannack. She will undertake a commission to shoot a portrait of a leading figure in the British Film Industry in early 2015.

HOLLYWOOD CATS the companion volume to Hollywood Unseen and Hollywood Dogs was published by ACC Editions in October 2014 and available online and at all good bookshops.

"There is a saying that you never really own a cat, rather the cat owns you. If that really is the case then we should be grateful that they allowed themselves to be photographed at all, for they are just as much the stars of the show as their human counterparts"

There were an impressive number of animal stars during the golden age of film; not just cats, but also dogs, lions, monkeys, elephants and any number of other species that could find a part to play. With studio contracts and the potential to earn sums equal to that of their human co-stars was it any wonder that animals (and their trainers) were ever present. Cats, however, had something of a unique place within this menagerie of animals. Some, like the young cat that sits on Marlon Brando's knee in a scene from The Godfather found themselves a place in cinema history, but most simply lived out their lives within the confines of the lots untourbled by dreams of stardom.

Hollywood Cats showcases an incredible selection of photographs, taken during the golden age of Hollywood, of stars with their cats, celebrating and documenting this special relationship. Both Carole Lombard and Greer Garson manage to look even more sultry draped alongside their feline friends; photographs of madcap duo Laurel and Hardy playing with a kitten are both comical and endearing. Perhaps the most famous and arguably the most important of all Hollywood cats is the MGM lion, Leo, who appeared (and still appears) on every MGM movie.


HOLLYWOOD DOGS … the companion volume to Hollywood Unseen was published by ACC Editions in October 2013 - STILL AVAILABLE!

Hollywood Dogs showcases a fine selection of photographs from the famous John Kobal Foundation. Taken between 1920 and 1960 during the Golden Age of Hollywood, they feature stars including Humphrey Bogart, Buster Keaton, Elvis Presley, Tony Curtis, Sophia Lauren, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Ava Gardner, Shirley Maclaine, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn posing with dogs of every stature and breed. In almost every case, these stunning photographs have never been seen before now.

As much as the Hollywood studio system tried to control every aspect of their stars' lives, there was nothing the bosses could do to manipulate their illustrious employees' responses when photographed with their dogs. Hollywood Dogs celebrates this special relationship between these famous owners and their animals. Often caught off-guard, and almost always relaxed and natural, these are photographs of the Hollywood stars as real people.

Amongst the images are some of the most famous dogs in Hollywood films: Lassie; Asta; Rin Tin Tin and Toto from the Wizard of Oz. There are also a few carefully-set-up publicity shots, such as Frank Sinatra on the set of Pal Joey, and Jean Harlow accessorised with a large hat and two Old English sheepdogs.

Each image has been researched to identify the breed and wherever possible, the name of the dog, and includes intriguing details about the location and background to the photograph.

What the press have said about this book:

"Throughout the 168-page tome some of the most popular films of all time are brought to life in a number of classic black and white stills" Dogs Today

"These stunning images of some of Hollywood's most iconic stars and their beloved dogs are possible the best thing we've ever seen" Marie Claire

"It's impossible not to like" The Herald

Never work with children and animals, warned W.C. Fields and this hugely endearing set of black-and-white photographs from the John Kobal Foundation proves he had a point: dogs are scene-stealers”  The Daily Mail

With its collection of striking black and white photos and insightful anecdotes, Hollywood Dogs makes for a delightful read” Schon!“

"Featuring 147 images, many of which have never been published before, this extraordinary book explores the relationship between film stars and their dogs during Hollywood's Golden Age” Indulgence

This lighthearted book will no doubt appeal to all those cinema fans who also share a love of man’s best friend” Jocks and Nerds

The digital GLAMOUR OF THE GODS iPad application STILL AVAILABLE!

Following the huge successes of both the print edition and the touring exhibition, Glamour of the Godswas released in digital form. 

The iPad app includes all two hundred and thirty five images from the book, easily navigable with functions to view images in era or photographer categories; fully illustrated essays from Robert Dance and John Russell Taylor as well as an exclusive video tour of the 2011 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London and a video commentary on John Kobal and the Hollywood photographers narrated by Simon Crocker, Chairman of the John Kobal Foundation.

iTunes link

HOLLYWOOD UNSEEN: photographs from The John Kobal Foundation -  STILL AVAILABLE!

This book of photos from our archive - with a foreword by Hollywood Legend Joan Collins was published worldwide by ACC Editions (the Antique Collectors Club) in October 2012.
The book, edited by Gareth Abbott and with an essay by foundation trustee Robert Dance, is a showcase for, and tribute to, the incredible inventiveness and ingenuity of the marketing and publicity departments of the great Hollywood Film Studios.


This was accompanied by an exhibition of photos from the book at the Getty Images Gallery. Prints from the exhibition are still available from Getty Images Gallery on 020 7291 5385.

This exhibition - now titled IDOLS & ILLUSIONS - was at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol   and  then at The Light Box Museum, Woking from February to June 2014.