- Category : 1868-births
- Type : GE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Planning 3
French photographer famed for his elegant photographic portraits in the early 20th century, many of which depicted celebrities such as Mary Pickford, Rita Lydig, Luisa Casati, Billie Burke, Irene Castle, John Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Ruth St. Denis, King George V of the United Kingdom, and Queen Mary. He was also the first official fashion photographer for the American magazine Vogue, appointed to that position in 1913.
He used the surnames Meyer, von Meyer, de Meyer, de Meyer-Watson, and Meyer-Watson at various times in his life. From 1897 he was known as Baron Adolph Edward Sigismond de Meyer, though some contemporary sources list him as Baron Adolph von Meyer and Baron Adolph de Meyer-Watson.
In 1893 he joined the Royal Photographic Society and moved to London, England in 1895.
On 25 July 1899, in London, de Meyer married Donna Olga Caracciolo, an Italian noblewoman who had been divorced earlier that year from Nobile Marino Brancaccio; she was a goddaughter of Edward VII. The de Meyers' marriage was one of convenience rather than romantic love, since the groom was homosexual and the bride was bisexual or lesbian.
From 1898 to 1913 de Meyer lived in fashionable Cadogan Gardens, London, and between 1903 and 1907 his work was published in Alfred Stieglitz's quarterly Camera Work. Cecil Beaton dubbed him "the Debussy of photography". In 1912 he photographed Nijinsky in Paris.
On the outbreak of World War I, the de Meyers, who in 1916 took the new names of Mahrah and Gayne, on the advice of an astrologer, moved to New York City, where he became a photographer for Vogue from 1913–21, and for Vanity Fair. In 1922 de Meyer accepted an offer to become the Harper's Bazaar chief photographer in Paris, spending the next 16 years there.
After the death of his wife in 1930/31, Baron de Meyer became romantically involved with a young German, Ernest Frohlich (born circa 1914), whom he hired as his chauffeur and later adopted as his son. The latter went by the name Baron Ernest Frohlich de Meyer.
On the eve of World War II in 1938, de Meyer returned to the United States, and found that he was a relic in the face of the rising modernism of his art. He died in Los Angeles on 6 January 1946. Today, few of his prints survive, most having been destroyed during World War II.