Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) was a German photographer and his series of photographs would be the first serious study of Garbo as an Artist. In July of 1925, Garbo and Stiller were waiting in New York to get instructions by MGM. Than one evening they had a meeting with a new friend - photographer Dr. Arnold Genthe. Genthe immediately wanted to make pictures of her. The pictures were taken in the hot summer of 1925, in New York.
After he saw Greta, Genthe immediately wanted to make pictures of her. But Greta wasn’t prepared and pleaded: “Look at the dress I have on and my hair – oh no, not now!” Genthe wasn’t interested in pictures of her clothes or hair. He wanted a portrait of her soul and stated: “You are here and I am here and my camera is ready.” She finally consented and results were breathtaking. Each pose reveals a new facet of her persona: sensual, dramatic, vulnerable, intensely female, always distinctive.
By August 1925, director, and friend of Stiller Victor Sjöström delivered the Genthe pictures to Mayer. It is said that at first, Mayer didn’t recognize the woman in the pictures as the actress he had signed in Berlin. A portrait from this sitting was published in Vanity Fair in November 1925.
Source: Garbo, by Barry Paris, 1995.