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Lauder Photo Exhibit Kicks Off in Paris

The show is slated to run through June 12 at Galeries Lafayette's Galerie des Galeries exhibit.

PARIS — “Beauté et Sérénité,” an exhibition of photographs lensed by Evelyn H. Lauder, senior corporate vice president of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., was kicked off with a cocktail party on Tuesday evening here.

The show, at Galeries Lafayette department store’s Galerie des Galeries exhibit space through June 12, includes more than 60 of Lauder’s nature-inspired, color images in various formats. Proceeds from the sale of her photos will support the France-based research of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which Lauder founded in 1993 and chairs.

“I wanted to have the best of the work that I’ve done since I started doing photography professionally,” explains Lauder in describing the pictures, which span 30 years. She sifted through hundreds of images before making the final selection. Lauder says it was important for the exhibit to find a subject in some way connected to who she is, and that much of her photographic work has been for hospitals. For patients, it is key to show the beauty and serenity of nature, explains Lauder.

“When I take the picture, it has to have some poetry,” she says. Lauder’s photos — all using natural light and a standard 35-mm camera with movie film — include shots of flowers, water and landscapes. They come from the world over, including New York City’s Central Park Conservancy, France’s Provence and Chile’s Torres del Paine.

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Lauder has been taking photos for approximately 50 years, starting with snaps of her children as babies. In the late Eighties, she became a member of the board of overseers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and began taking photographs to be hung in its then-new breast cancer center.

“I wanted to have things that were extremely uplifting and calming for the patients,” she explains.

Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Lauder’s photos have appeared in numerous exhibitions around the world, including another in the City of Light as well as ones in the U.S. and U.K., Spain, Israel and China. Lauder was also in Paris this week to announce the new global 2010 Breast Cancer Awareness campaign for Estée Lauder, which is “Connect. Communicate. Conquer. Prevent Breast Cancer One Woman at a Time. The Pink Ribbon. Wear It. Share It.”

An updated version of the BCA campaign launched in 1992. It was created by James Gager, senior vice president, creative director of MAC Cosmetics, and Toni Lakis, vice president of MAC Design. Michael Thompson photographed the advertisement image.