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700 Nimes Road Hardcover – September 25, 2015

3.3 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In 2010, [Elizabeth Taylor] granted American fine-art photographer Catherine Opie permission to shoot inside her home. In doing so, she allowed access to parts of her life that up to that point had been off-limits to any public exposure."

--Tim Mendelson, as quoted in The Daily Telegraph

"Midway through the project [Elizabeth Taylor] was hospitalised, and on March 23 2011 she passed away. As an artist it was an emotional and moving time for me to bear witness to her life and to her loss. Her home underwent many changes following her death. These photographs reflect that transition in a subtle way, while still maintaining an intimate portrait of Elizabeth Taylor through her personal space."

--Catherine Opie, as quoted in the Financial Times

"...[P]hotographer Catherine Opie explores [the] connection between Elizabeth Taylor the star and Elizabeth Taylor the person through intimate and at times poignant 'indirect portraits' of the icon's life at home, including shots of movingly personal items like a pair of Taylor's red baby shoes . . . For [Opie], the caring, down-to-earth spirit of Taylor was very much alive in these inanimate possessions."

--Vogue.com

"Not long before she passed away in 2011 at age 79, Elizabeth [Taylor] opened up her surprisingly cozy six-bedroom, six-bath LA house to photographer Catherine Opie. The spectacular results can be found in the new book and exhibition named after the actress' Bel Air address, 700 Nimes Road . . . And while the space is every bit as stunning as the actress herself, Opie points out that it 'wasn't just pristine--it was a well-loved and well-used home, too . . . Everything had value to her, from the Krupp Diamond ... to the stuffed animal that leaned against a little rocker.'"

--Closer



"She was one of the most photographed women in the world--but these quiet pictures of her Bel Air home, which she allowed just before her death in 2011, reveal more about Elizabeth Taylor than any portrait."

--People Magazine

"Although the two never met in person, Opie's new book . . . assumes a powerful, shared intimacy through [her] pictures of Taylor's shoes, jewelry, heirlooms, and other artifacts of fame and family."

--WMagazine.com

"[Catherine] Opie spent six months shooting some 3,000 images [of Elizabeth Taylor's home], the best of which are collected in 700 Nimes Road (Prestel), a visual biography of the legend told through her belongings."

--W Magazine

"Liz Taylor never let a photographer into her home--until Catherine Opie came along. The result is as visual paean to the life (and loss) of a legend . . . Flipping through [700 Nimes Road], you feel a little like a child stealing into her mother's room to run her hands over dresses and rummage through drawers. All that's missing is the scent of Taylor's perfume."

--Town & Country

"With her Oscars and her activism, her great loves and even greater roles, Elizabeth Taylor will always be a Hollywood icon. But in a new book, 700 Nimes Road, photographer Catherine Opie shines a light on the private world of the legend."

--People.com

"Opie's photographs present Taylor's domestic sphere as a minutely observed landscape of details and fragments, surfaces and textures."

--Artforum

"I remember when I first drove up to Elizabeth Taylor's House through the gates of Bel-Air in 2010--it was the little California ranch house . . . I realized she was an incredibly humble and nostalgic person--who was obviously a great shopper."

--Catherine Opie, as told by Romy Oltuski and quoted in Harper's Bazaar

About the Author

Catherine Opie is Professor of Photography at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her works have been exhibited in numerous solo shows, including a mid-career retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, 2008.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Prestel USA (September 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3791354256
  • ISBN-13: 978-3791354255
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 0.7 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. J. Trivette on September 30, 2015
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As a life-long Taylor fan, I have been eagerly awaiting this book - the first-ever "tour" of Elizabeth's home. I am close to being bitterly disappointed with it. True, there is a plethora of lovely photos, but what has me so disappointed is that NONE of the photos have one word of explanation, at least not the details that SHOULD have been included. At the end of the book, each photo is listed with only the most generic labels possible. For instance; Page 17 Paintings - flip back to page 17 and the photo shows a sofa with several paintings above it. That's all the information we are given. Taylor fans know that one of her passions was art, and here is a photo showing prime pieces from her collection. But - whose work are we seeing? Which one is Van Gogh? Utrillo? Degas? Etc. Page 123 - Deer in the Snow. Flip back to page 123 and we see a painting. That's it. WHERE is the information that this painting was done by Elizabeth herself as a child? Wouldn't that short explanation make a WORLD of difference in viewing the photo? I would also like to know why Ms. Opie selected certain photos that are shown. For instance; Page 36 Balloon Shades. Flip back to the page and we see exactly that - a close-up of balloon shades. Why? In which room were they? What about these shades captured her eye and/or imagination? What statement did they make to her? From the 1,000s of photos she took, why did she select this one? I'm also not fond of having to flip to the back of the book and searching the page number for the image I'm observing, then having to flip back again. I'm sure this was done so the photos could "stand alone" on the page. But, again, the flipping back and forth is annoying. The absence of pertinent information and details still has me longing for "THE DEFINITIVE" book on Taylor.
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The cover is really the best part of this book with Warhols portrait of Liz,
However the book has many blurred photos, which at first i thought.... well..must be for arts sake.. but the author and photographer had access for many months and to have included blurred photos, well she must of had plenty of ones that are better than this and to my surprise blank pages!
Why if most of the book includes photos on both sides would you not include something on a page why is it left blank?
There are at least 3 or more pages left blank, it doesnt make sense , didient she have enough of anything to place there even one of the blurry ones..
Dont buy the book thinking your going to be raiding Elizabeth Taylors fabulous closet, your going to see fabrics, not actual clothing, as if you were shopping for upholstery at a design showroom, and the living room photos ive seen in achitectual digest..
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Snippets, partial shots, multitudes of THINGS too close together to see, no people, no words. This book is perfect if those are the kinds of things you like. Horribly disappointed in the book. I don't care about getting my money back, just wish I hadn't wasted the time ordering, waiting for it, paying the charge card bill. She had plenty of THINGS, but this is not the place to get a closer look. Little pictures on big pages, Photographer thinks she assembled something precious, but she did not.
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I was so sad and angry because I could not believe that I was looking at pages with nothing to explain what I was looking at. I found at the back of the book the titles ( -shoes-hat boxes-purple flowers-the closet 19 times -which one?) ,Why not write under each page what I am looking at? I am very sad and cannot believe they paid to have this book "published"! Also my book had total blank pages-12-40-56-76-102-all blank.
Elizabeth Taylor would not be happy. And who is Catherine Opie? So sorry I paid for this book. I love Elizabeth Taylor and I can't believe this book uses her name, they should be embarrass.
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If you're expecting this book to be filled with juicy tidbits about Hollywood's Golden Age, filtered through the lens that was Elizabeth Taylor's life, expect to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you are interested in what life was REALLY like for the real human being called Elizabeth Taylor as she neared 80, this is the book for you. Thankfully, it's not filled with a lot of prose. Instead, what you see are glimpses into how she may have lived her life during her last few years. The photographs are stunning, and they certainly are worth a thousand words. One photo, however, is indelibly printed on in my mind. It's a photo of a simple cushion in the back seat of a car, not unlike the cushion my elderly mother sits on in her favorite chair. Very poignant and striking book.
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The photography is fabulous, I only wished for fewer close ups and more photos of the space in which we located in her home. There are some but the book is not balanced. Both my mom and I struggled to see what we were looking at in the photo only to find the description in the back of the book so we were constantly flipping back and forth. The descriptions were so brief they really weren't helpful. I found myself saying " sure those are jewelry boxes as stated, anyone can see that but who is in the famed photo in the background? When was it taken? Was this next to her bed? In the room she enjoyed sitting in?" There were several blank pages. It seemed awkward. It seemed a waste. The book is simply a glimpse. Maybe it had to be for privacy reasons.
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