Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball

1966, printed later
Infused dyes sublimated on aluminum

Signed, dated and numbered from edition of 25 in ink on verso.

Frame: 42 1/2 x 57 3/8 inches

Harry Benson’s photograph captures a moment of glamour and intrigue as Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow make their entrance into Truman Capote’s legendary Black and White Ball at the Plaza Hotel in NYC in 1966. The atmosphere is electric with anticipation, as the couple, adorned in elegant masks, step into the spotlight.

Mia Farrow’s mask, a delicate white butterfly, contrasts beautifully with Frank Sinatra’s striking black cat mask complete with whiskers. Sinatra, with a smirk on his face, gazes directly at the camera, exuding confidence and charisma as he leads Farrow into the festivities. The couple’s connection is palpable, their clasped hands and Sinatra’s guiding gesture suggesting a sense of unity and mutual support.

In the background, a throng of photographers and onlookers capture the moment, underscoring the immense public interest and intrigue surrounding the event. Tuxedoed men mingle in the background, adding to the aura of sophistication and exclusivity that permeates the scene.

Benson’s photograph encapsulates the allure and mystique of Capote’s Black and White Ball, an event that transcended mere celebrity to become a cultural phenomenon. The party, attended by the elite of society, was the hottest ticket in town, with exclusivity so coveted that even those who were not invited would fabricate excuses rather than admit their absence.

The occasion was held in honor of Kay Graham, owner of the Washington Post, and the detectives who cracked the murder case depicted in Capote’s groundbreaking novel, “In Cold Blood.” For Capote, it was a moment of triumph, a pinnacle of his literary and social success.

Benson’s photograph serves as a vivid snapshot of a bygone era, capturing the essence of an iconic event that continues to captivate imaginations decades later. In the faces of Sinatra and Farrow, we glimpse the allure of fame and the magnetic pull of a night steeped in glamour and intrigue.