The Ford Model Agency

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The Ford Model Agency,

Dorian Leigh  1948


© Nina Leen


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The Ford Model Agency

Joan Pedersen 2nd girl from the right ,

on third row from the bottom, with choker necklace


© Nina Leen


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© Nina Leen


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Eileen Ford conducting her job of running the Ford Model Agency,

while model Joan Pedersen entertains Ford’s daughter 1948


© Nina Leen


Serge Balkin and Nina Leen

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Serge Balkin and Nina Leen

ca 1946


© Nina Leen

© Serge Balkin


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 Nina Leen

ca 1946


© Nina Leen

© Serge Balkin


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Nina Leen


Nina Leen (died January 1, 1995) was a Russian-born American photographer, a constant contributor to Life. She is remembered above all for her photographs of animals, many published in book form


Born in Russia (probably between 1909 and 1914 although she kept her age a secret), Leen studied painting in Berlin. Before she emigrated to the United States in 1939, she had also lived in Italy and Switzerland.[3] Her first photographs to be published in Life in April 1940 were of tortoises at the Bronx Zoo, taken with her Rolleiflex camera. While she never became a staff photographer at Life, she contributed as a contract photographer until the magazine closed in 1972. Leen was a prolific photographer of fashion for LIFE, and was long married to the fashion photographer Serge Balkin. She was recognised with inclusion by Edward Steichen of two of her photographs in The Family of Man international touring exhibition; one a photograph of a child at a blackboard, the other, several generations of an Ozark farming family (later selected by Carl Sagan for the 12 inch golden phonograph record that contains pictures and sounds of Earth for the Voyager Missions) Over the years, Leen was behind over 50 magazine covers and contributed countless reports from around the world, including the story of her dog Lucky which began in 1949 and later led to a book. In addition to her many animal stories, she is remembered for covering young people in the 1940s and 1950s and the group of artists known as The Irascibles. She also documented European royalty, fashion models, and actresses. From 1973, Leen avidly continued to publish her work in book form, including her notable images of bats which she called her flying kittens source – Wiky


© Nina Leen

© Serge Balkin


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Serge Balkin

Vogue Photographer