Bradford J. Smith’s first photograph, taken when he was 12, was published in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. He continued for the next 75 years, making his career as a first call advertising and fashion photographer in New York City. In the 1940s and ‘50s, he was a fashion photographer by day, and in the evening, he did nude portraits of aspiring actresses.
Smith’s home in Ballston Spa, which was built in 1792 as a resort hotel, was sold to the Saratoga County Historical Society in 1970 and is now the society’s Brookside Museum.
On Aug. 10, a benefit, “After Hours at Brookside,” featured Smith’s vintage fashion and nude photography. The event included a silent auction of 45 mounted, gelatin silver prints.
Lily and the Rose provided the inventive buffet and cocktails at the Brookside, which has a lovely garden and generous porch.
Live jazz by vocalist Jeanine Ouderkirk (with Lou Smaldone, Shaun McCarthy and Adam Seigel) filled the rooms without overpowering conversation.
Every element of the evening was well thought out.