We were sad to read that Peter Gowland, the quintessential pinup and celebrity photographer of the 50’s recently passed.
A few years ago we were in LA. We made a pilgrimage to his home in Santa Monica that he shared with his wife and lifelong muse, Alice. When we contacted them, Alice directed us by way of Alice In Wonderland-like directions. “Take the fork to the left at the 100 year old weeping willow, continue along the wooden bridge over the rocky creek, and don’t come until 4pm, after Peter’s late day nap.”
As we walked through the door we were warmly welcomed by a tall, lanky, stiffly moving, yet still handsome 80 year old man who immediately sized Laura up at “5’8″ and 120lbs”. Kind and a little off, but who is Laura to argue with that type of compliment.
Our thinly veiled reason for the visit, to purchase some of his out of print manuals, got us through the door. Once we were in, we were treated to a 2hr visit where they shared their home/studio/secluded oasis, talking about their lives together and their work over the years.
As we wound out of the forest and back into civilization we knew that we had witnessed a piece of history. More personally, it was a window into our future – a couple who had made a life together in photography.
Our heart goes out to Alice. You can learn a bit about Peter by visiting www.petergowland.com.