The Sinatra Collection
Q: Uncovering photos from the family archive must have been a fascinating experience for you, is there a photo of Frank that is a particular favourite?
Amanda Erlinger: It was amazing. It was an opportunity to learn more about my grandpa, but also an opportunity to learn more about my family history in general. He was a large part of my life until my early twenties. After looking at his life in pictures, I realized that I did not fully appreciate his determination and devotion to his craft and building a legacy. It gave me a glimpse at a person who had a dream and made it come true. He never gave up. Never. To pick a favorite image would be very difficult. I love the shot of him from the 1930s at the Rustic Cabin. My grandmother took that photograph. I also love the candid shots that fans took of him throughout the 1940s. He kept hundreds of those. I love the Terry O'Neill shots of him on stage. Then the shots of him in the studio by the likes of Ken Veeder, Ted Allan, David Sutton, and Ed Thrasher. To see him in his element, to see how his career spanned decades…that's pretty amazing.
Q: What was your artistic vision behind the casing of the book and the overall layout?
AE: While working with Robin Morgan from Iconic Images and our designer Stephen Reid, we knew that we had to make it personal. From the start, we envisioned the layout of the book being elegant, simple, and warm much like the man himself. It was important to us that we make it flow much like a lifetime of memories; not so much a rigid chronology, if that makes sense. As far as the casing, I said from the beginning that we needed to incorporate his favorite hue, orange. We took great care in selecting the finest fabrics and the most important thing: construction. Robin Morgan and James Smith of ACC made sure that the book casing was constructed by people who work in fine art. We wanted it to be as finely crafted as possible, but retain its very personal nature. The book is a tribute to an icon, but also a loving father, grandfather, friend, and humanitarian. Hopefully, we succeeded.
Q: Sinatra has an incredible list of contributors; can you give us an example from one of them?
AE: This is so unfair! I can't pick one. There are so many people who came through for us and gave their time. George Clooney's contribution is a favourite, but I also love what Elvis Costello wrote. The contribution from Quincy Jones is amazing. What my grandmother wrote is so deeply personal and moving. I can't pick one!
Q: It must have been a real challenge narrowing down so many photographs from the family archive. How did you go about it?
AE: That was a very difficult task. Stephen Reid (the designer) was essential in this process. We worked together on the editing, and I think we made it work. It took a long time, I can tell you that. There are so many wonderful images that did not make the book, but what we have is pretty special.
Q: Why did you limit the book to 1,000 copies and how do you justify the price tag?
AE: It is a splurge, I won't deny it. Our partners at 1966 and ACC did a lot of research focusing on other limited edition books devoted to cultural icons that came out over the last couple of years. The book itself is printed in Italy and hand bound there. James Smith from ACC was in Italy personally to oversee the printing process. The casing craftwork as well as the materials used, the personal nature of the content, the contributions, the quality of the paper and printing…all of these things were taken into consideration. I also want to mention that each edition comes with a print of a photograph my grandmother took of my grandfather, signed by her. She is 98, by the way, and signed all 1,000 prints in my presence. Each and every book contains a certificate of authenticity signed by my mom, my aunt, and my uncle. My whole family participated in this project. We all want the public to feel that if they are interested in a collector's item such as this, they are getting their money's worth.
Q: Could you tell us more about the London exhibition taking place in September/October?
AE: The London exhibition will be at The Proud Gallery on Kings Road. It will run from late November through January. It will showcase our photography program curated by myself and Chris Flannery, one of our partners at 1966 Americas and the man who really puts it all together. The gallery is entirely devoted to photography. They are wonderful, and their exhibitions list is fantastically eclectic. They have had shows devoted to icons such as JFK, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix all the way over to New Order and Alexander McQueen. It is a pleasure to be working with them.
Q: Could you share your fondest memory of your grandfather?
AE: Again, too many memories. What I always remember about him is more like a feeling. A feeling of warmth. A feeling of generosity. A feeling of unconditional love. He was a wonderful person, and I am lucky to have known him and call him my grandpa.
'Sinatra', compiled by Amanda Erlinger and Robin Morgan, is published by ACC Editions on 1st October and will retail at £1,000. Available here