In an era before supermodels, Charlotte Payne’s job was, like a living mannequin, to draw attention to the clothes she wore and not herself. Now, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi is housing Payne’s private and professional photo collection in a summer exhibition – “Curator’s Choice: Focus on Fashion.”
The collection highlights Payne’s modeling career (which spanned the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s), when she appeared in hundreds of ads and on the covers of high-profile magazines like Life, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
The exhibit is meant to highlight changes in fashion post-war and the changing role of models through the years, from the anonymity of Payne’s age to the celebrity of today’s supermodels (i.e. Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum).