Subject of world famous poster lives in Canada

(Canscene) — Some years ago, my brother John, visiting us here, noticed two nearby art stores selling posters. He claimed he’d tried all over England to find An American Girl in Italy and I suggested he try here.  He got lucky and within days, was carrying his trophy back to England.

I was reminded of this by  Paul French’s article in Partners, the bi-monthly magazine of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Toronto. He recounts how in 1953,  Ninalee Allen , a 23-year-old art student in Florence and her friend photogapher Ruyh Orkin took advantage of an improvisational situation on a Florentine Street. The spotaneity of the moment was preserved by Ruth asking Ninalee to make the walk into history only one more time.

As a poster, it became, according to French, the second most famous in the world. (One presumes the first is the flag raising at Iwo Jima).

Back in New York, Ninalee was surprised to find herself the subject of a Kodak poster, a fact that haunted her first marriage  a few years later to a Venetian nobleman whose suffocatingly proper family drew her into a sequestered life.

Her second  and happier marriage, to Hamilton business man Robert Craig, brought Ninalee to Canada’s  steel city.  After Craig’s  death, she moved to Toronto, where at the age of 80, she resides today.

One Response to “Subject of world famous poster lives in Canada”

  1. Ace Alvarez Says:

    Hhhmmm … interesting story, Ben.

    Did you happen to know how many copies of this poster were made available for sale to the public when they were originally printed?

    I wonder how many from their original print date remain crisp, or if ever they were reprinted ….