Ernst Linnenkamp (1885-1956) was a famed Viennese portrait painter who came to America with his wife for an extended stay. According to newspaper accounts, Professor Linnenkamp had received a commission from a Swiss art firm to select 15 of the most beautiful women in America and to paint their portraits. Although a complete list of the selected models has not been found, Irving Hellman, Beryl Halley, and Claire Windsor were chosen. Of the 15 women, 6 came from New York, 5 from Los Angeles and the location of the remaining 4 has not been discovered. In 1924 while under the employment of the newly formed M-G-M studio, silent movie actress Claire Windsor was chosen by the artist to have her portrait painted. Claire had just finished filming "Nellie the Beautiful Cloak Model" and the stunning garden party frock she wore in the movie was chosen to complement her beauty. The costume had been designed by Sophie Wachner (1879-1960) of the Goldwyn costume department. The dress was an airy soufflé of pastel pink tulle with a central panel of silver lace in a southern belle style. A floppy mohair braided sun hat with ostrich feathers and a parasol completed the ensemble. Professor Linnenkamp's finished full length portrait of Claire was so well received by the public, that he was later commissioned several times to duplicate the work, but with the likeness of the particular benefactor. To date, a search for the provenance of the original painting of Claire Windsor has been fruitless. We are also still searching for more biographical information about Professor Linnenkamp. email@example.com
Above: Beryl Halley was deemed "The Venus of the Twentieth Century." June 19, 1926.