TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

Loading
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
     
     
  History of photography

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK NEXT   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
History of photography
 
 
     
Abbe James
ABBOTT BERENICE
ADAMS ANSEL
Allen Albert
ARBUS DIANE
ATGET EUGENE
AVEDON RICHARD
Bailey David
BEATO FELICE

Beaton Cecil
BELLOCQ E. J.
BING ILSE  
BLOSSFELDT KARL
BLUMENFELD ERWIN
BOURKE-WHITE
BRADY MATHEW
BRANDT BILL
BRASSAI
BRAVO MANUEL
CALLAHAN HARRY
CAMERON JULIA
CLERGUE LUCIEN
Cunningham Imogen
Carroll Lewis
     
DOISNEAU ROBERT
Drtikol Frantisek
Duhrkoop Rudolf
DUNCAN DOUGLAS
Eisenstaedt Alfred
EVANS WALKER
Feininger  Andreas
FRISSELL TONI
GENTHE ARNOLD
     
Halsman Philippe
HAUSMANN RAOUL
Heartfield John
HINE LEWIS
Horst P. Horst
KARSH YOUSUF
Kasebier Gertrude
KERTESZ ANDRE
Kirkland Douglas
KLEIN WILLIAM
KOUDELKA JOSEF
Lartigue Jacques Henri
Laughlin Clarence John

 

     
Maar Dora
Man Ray
McBEAN ANGUS
MEYER ADOLF

Miller Lee
MODOTTI TINA
MOHOLY-NAGY LAZLO
Munkacsi Martin
MURAY NICKOLAS
MUYBRIDGE EADWEARD
NADAR
NEWMAN ARNOLD

 

Outerbridge Paul
     
PARKS GORDON

 

REJLANDER OSCAR
RIIS JACOB
ROBINSON HENRY
Rodchenko Alexander
SANDER AUGUST
SHERMAN CINDY
Skoglund Sandy
Smith William Eugene
Smith Rodney
STEICHEN EDWARD
STIEGLITZ ALFRED
     
Tabard Maurice
TEIGE KAREL
UELSMANN JERRY VALLOU DE VILLENEUVE JULIEN
     
  Watson Albert
WEEGEE (ARTHUR FELLIG)
WESTON EDWARD
 
     
 
 
Postwar developments

With the improvement in colour materials and processes, photographers became more interested in its creative possibilities. Beginning in the 1940s, American photographer Eliot Porter produced subtle studies of birds and nature in which colour allowed him to render an unparalleled level of nuance. Appreciated for both their scientific and their aesthetic value, these photographs embodied the potential of colour. Austrian photojournalist Ernst Haas first used colour in the photo-essay New York for Life magazine in 1953. Through this and similar projects he challenged the standard of using only black and white in photojournalism, and his use of colour added vibrancy to images of everyday life. While these and other experiments achieved some success, it was not until later in the century that colour dominated photographic output and was incorporated into daily newspapers.

In the period after World War II, as the United States entered a period of domestic peace and prosperity, many photographers there moved away from documentary realities and focused instead on the intrinsic qualities of photography; such experiments paralleled the ascendancy of the Abstract Expressionist art movement, which similarly looked at the intrinsic quality of painting. Minor White combined ideas about photography’s incomparable descriptive power, taken from Edward Weston, with those about its emotional expressiveness, taken from Alfred Stieglitz. Through his long career as an influential teacher and founding editor of Aperture, White developed the idea that a photograph should contain an inner message that might not be immediately visible on the surface.

Other American photographers influenced by the Abstract Expressionist style of the era included Aaron Siskind, who found formal configurations in graffiti, weathered wood and plaster, and torn billboards (what he called the “detritus of the world”), and Harry Callahan, whose work demonstrated a highly developed sense of linear form. Siskind and Callahan inspired a generation of young photographers through their teachings at the Institute of Design, the school that had been started in 1937 in Chicago by Moholy-Nagy as the New Bauhaus. Barbara Crane, Ken Josephson, and Garry Winogrand were among students who later achieved fame. In England Bill Brandt created expressive photographs of nudes, shooting his subject matter at such close range that the human body took on the appearance of series of patterns and abstract designs. In Germany Otto Steinert led the Fotoform group of photographers, who created close-up views of nature that were also nearly abstract in their effects.

By the 1960s similar styles and ideas in photography had spread to Asia, in part because photographic magazines became widely available. Japanese photographers had been aware of Modernist currents before World War II, but afterward they pursued them more openly. Among the important photographers of this generation were Shōmei Tomatsu, who made vivid images on the streets of Tokyo; Eikō Hosoe, who captured imagery evoking human sensuality; and Hiroshi Sugimoto, who was entranced by images conveying stillness and emptiness. For a period the government in China exerted control over photographic imagery, but by the late 20th century photographers had found some freedoms. Chen Changfen was able to indulge his interest in colour abstractions, and Xie Hailong produced photographic documentations of problems in contemporary Chinese society, such as the difficulties faced by rural students seeking an education.

Street photography might be considered a special aspect of documentation: the street photographer is intrigued by the serendipitous nature of street activity, but, in contrast to the social documentarian, the street photographer does not necessarily have a social purpose in mind. Important street photographers included Helen Levitt, who documented subjects such as underprivileged children and young African Americans. All her work was infused with a compelling sense of immediacy. Levitt was following the steps of Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï, and André Kertész—the best known of the many European photographers of the 1930s–50s who used their small cameras to capture the vitality of urban life. Roy DeCarava documented his native Harlem and the civil rights movement; he said that he strove for “a creative expression, the kind of penetrating insight and understanding of Negroes which I believe only a Negro photographer can interpret.” This kind of street photography, made possible by the increasing availability of light portable cameras with fast-acting mechanisms, appealed to photographers around the world. Indian photographer Raghubir Singh, who worked in colour, sought to reveal both the inner and outer life of his people through his street photography.

Other social documentation in the postwar period used the medium to examine contemporary society from a distance. Such efforts had various labels, including “social landscape.” Inspired by Swiss-born émigré Robert Frank, who during the 1950s viewed American culture with an ironic eye, American photographers such as Bruce Davidson, Lee Friedlander, and William Klein were among those whose work suggested the effects of contemporary culture on people in industrialized societies. Often utilizing 35-mm cameras, these photographers caught seeming mundane everyday moments in works that resembled snapshots. Beneath this seeming spontaneity lay an element of critique, however, that in some cases paralleled Pop art’s examination of the banality of contemporary consumer culture.

Several important photographers defied categorization. In the early 1960s the photographer Seydou Keïta, working as a commercial portraitist in Mali, allowed his sitters to arrange and costume themselves. The resulting photographs created an extensive and compelling documentation of his country’s people. In the same period, influenced by the mordant eye of the earlier Austrian émigré photographer Lisette Model, Diane Arbus created challenging portraits of people living outside prescribed ideas of “normalcy,” such as transvestites and the intellectually disabled.

 
 
 
Eliot Porter
Eliot Porter, in full Eliot Furness Porter (born December 6, 1901, Winnetka, Illinois, U.S.—died November 2, 1990, Santa Fe, New Mexico), American photographer noted for his detailed and exquisite colour images of birds and landscapes.

Porter, the brother of painter Fairfield Porter, trained as an engineer at Harvard College (B.S., 1924) and as a physician at Harvard Medical School (M.D., 1929). He taught biochemistry at Harvard from 1929 to 1939, when he turned his hobby of photographing birds into a career. Photographer Alfred Stieglitz praised his work and gave him a show at his An American Place gallery in 1939. Porter’s early photographs of birds were in black and white, but in the early 1940s he began using the then-new Kodachrome colour film, whose slow speed required the use of large flashbulbs in order to achieve correct exposures. Porter worked with a cumbersome large-format camera, valuing the greater detail this equipment allowed. Lacking mobility because of the size of his camera and its reliance on large flashbulbs, Porter often had to spend hours and even days waiting for specific birds to perch near him. His bird photographs, much like the paintings and drawings of John James Audubon, are ornithologically important because of their meticulous detail while also artistically of note because of their fine technique and composition. His work was in the style of Ansel Adams’s “straight” photography, showing the subject in a straightforward manner, with an emphasis on tone and detail.

Gradually Porter’s colour photography shifted from the portrayal of birds to natural landscapes, which he first presented in 1962 in an exhibition entitled “In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World,” with an accompanying catalog. Porter was active in the cause of environmental preservation and had this and other books published by the Sierra Club. He published many other collections of nature photographs, including those in The Place No One Knew (1963), Baja California (1967), Galapagos (1968), Appalachian Wilderness (1970), and The Tree Where Man Was Born (1972). Many of his finest photographs of birds were collected in Birds of North America (1972).



Eliot Porter. “Moss, Waterfall, Cinders, near Mt. Hekla, Iceland,”

 
 
 
Ernst Haas
Ernst Haas, (born March 2, 1921, Vienna, Austria—died September 12, 1986, New York, New York, U.S.), Austrian-born photojournalist who was influential for his innovations in colour photography.

Haas’s youthful interests were divided between medicine and painting, but after World War II he abandoned both in favour of photography. His early photographs were experimentations in abstract light and form. When in 1947 Haas became a staff photographer for the picture magazine Heute (“Today”), he switched his focus from abstraction to photojournalism. After the publication of his first notable photo-essay, “Returning War Prisoners,” he was invited to join Magnum Photos, a prestigious international photojournalists’ agency. Soon after that, he created “The Miracle of Greece,” a photo-story that gained him an international reputation.

In 1950 Haas moved to New York City, and in 1953 he made the photo-essay “New York” for Life magazine. Although these were the first photographs he had made in colour, the editors at Life gave the project a 24-page spread, an unprecedented length for a colour photo-essay. Haas went on to create colour essays on Paris (1955) and Venice (1956), both of which met with similar success. Through such projects his reputation quickly grew for breaking the mould of using only black-and-white photographs for photojournalism. The use of colour in his images added a sense of joy and vibrancy to familiar, seemingly mundane moments of everyday life.

In 1962 Haas was given a one-man show of colour photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The following year his first book of photographs, Elements, was published. In these images of natural forms Haas reexplored abstract design and extended his exploration of colour to achieve almost impressionistic effects. He followed this book with The Creation (1971), In America (1975), In Germany (1977), and Himalayan Pilgrimage (1978).



Ernst Haas, Homecoming Prisoners, Vienna, 1947

 
 
Minor White
Minor White, (born July 9, 1908, Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.—died June 24, 1976, Cambridge, Mass.), American photographer and editor whose efforts to extend photography’s range of expression greatly influenced creative photography in the mid-20th century.

White took up photography while very young but set it aside for a number of years to study botany and, later, poetry. He began to photograph seriously in 1937. His early years as a photographer were spent working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Portland, Ore. Many WPA photographers were chiefly concerned with documentation; White, however, preferred a more personal approach. Several of his photographs were included in a show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1941.

White served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and in 1945 he moved to New York City, where he became part of a circle of friends that included the influential photographers Edward Steichen and Alfred Stieglitz. His contact with Stieglitz helped him discover his own distinctive style. From Stieglitz he learned the expressive potential of the sequence, a group of photographs presented as a unit. White would present his work in such units along with text, creating arrangements that he hoped would inspire different moods, emotions, and associations in the viewer, moving beyond the conventional expressive possibilities of still photography. White also learned from Stieglitz the idea of the “equivalent,” or a photographic image intended as a visual metaphor for a state of being. Both in his photographs and in his writing, White became the foremost exponent of the sequence and the equivalent.

In 1946 White moved to San Francisco, where he worked closely with the photographer Ansel Adams. Adams’s zone system, a method of visualizing how the scene or object to be photographed will appear in the final print, formed another major influence on White’s work. The next year White succeeded Adams as director of the photography department of the California School of Fine Arts. During this period he also befriended photographer Edward Weston. Already a meticulous technician who was scrupulously faithful in his work to the tones and textures of nature, White was inspired by Weston’s use of realism and tonal beauty in photographic prints. Always interested in the spiritual content of photography, White followed aspects of Zen philosophy and often gave mystical interpretations to his work.

In 1952 he returned to New York City and became editor of the influential photography magazine Aperture, which he and others founded that year, and Image, the journal of George Eastman House, which he edited from 1953 to 1957.

White traveled throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early ’60s and began to experiment with colour photographs. In 1965 he settled in Cambridge, Mass., and became professor of creative photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Among his best-known books are two collections, Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations (1969), which features some of his sequences, and Minor White: Rites and Passages (1978), with excerpts from his diaries and letters and a biographical essay by James Baker Hall.



Minor White. Landscape

 
 
 
Aaron Siskind
Aaron Siskind, (born December 4, 1903, New York, New York, U.S.—died February 8, 1991, Providence, Rhode Island), influential American teacher, editor, and photographer who is best known for his innovations in abstract photography.

Siskind, Aaron [Credit: Checkerboard Film Foundation (A Britannica Publishing Partner)]Siskind began to photograph in 1932, while he was an English teacher in the New York City public-school system. As a member of the Photo League, he participated in projects designed to document neighbourhood life during the Depression. Unlike other documentary series of the period, Siskind’s Dead End: The Bowery and Harlem Document show as much concern for pure design as for the plight of his subjects. After the late 1930s, Siskind no longer photographed people, concentrating instead on architectural photography, as in his series Old Houses of Bucks County, and on natural phenomena and still life.

The abstract work for which Siskind became best known developed from his attempt to express his own states of mind in photography, rather than simply to record subject matter. In the early 1940s he began photographing patterns and textures of such mundane subjects such as coiled ropes, footprints in sand, and seaweed. Much like the members of Group f.64, Siskind achieved surprising, dramatic results by shooting his subjects at close range. Within a few years he became preoccupied with the abstract qualities of two-dimensional surfaces such as pavement, billboards, and walls, especially those transformed by weathering and decay. This theme was perhaps most poignantly realized in his 1967 series of photographs of the ruins of the Arch of Constantine and the Appia Antica in Rome. Siskind’s early abstract work was not immediately accepted by other photographers, but it was widely admired by painters such as Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline, who were associated with Abstract Expressionism. Siskind, in fact, exhibited his abstract photographs with these artists’ paintings.

Much of Siskind’s influence on photography resulted from his activities as a founding member of the Society for Photographic Education and as coeditor of Choice, a literary and photography magazine. His greatest influence, however, was as professor of photography at the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, a post he held from 1951 to 1971, when he became a professor of photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. His publications include Aaron Siskind, Photographer (1965), a 30-year anthology of his photographs; Bucks County: Photographs of Early Architecture (1974); and another anthology entitled Places, 1966–1975 (1976).



Aaron Siskind. Untitled

 
 
 
Harry Callahan
Harry Callahan, in full Harry Morey Callahan (born October 22, 1912, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.—died March 15, 1999, Atlanta, Georgia), American photographer noted for his innovative photographs of commonplace objects and scenes.

Callahan had no formal training in photography and was a hobbyist until 1941, when he saw photographs by the landscape photographer Ansel Adams. He was then inspired to search for his own photographic style. Callahan’s primary subjects were landscapes, cityscapes, and varied, unconventional portraits of his wife and daughter, all imagery he would explore throughout his career. He tended to avoid literal representations in his work, preferring instead to emphasize quietly lyrical abstract design. In 1946 László Moholy-Nagy and Arthur Siegel invited Callahan to join the staff of Chicago’s Institute of Design (from 1949 part of the Illinois Institute of Technology), where from 1949 to 1961 he was head of the photography department. From 1961 until 1973 he helped develop a photography department at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

In the late 1970s Callahan became interested in the aesthetic possibilities of colour film. He did not print his colour slides until 1978, when he became the first photographer chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale. By 1980 he was using colour almost exclusively. The Museum of Modern Art in New York City presented a major retrospective exhibition of his work in 1976. Collections of his photographs include Water’s Edge (1980), Harry Callahan: Color 1945–1980 (1980), Eleanor (1984), and Harry Callahan: New Color Photographs, 1978–1987 (1988). In 1997 he was awarded the National Medal of the Arts.



Harry Callahan. Untitled

 
 
 
Garry Winogrand
Garry Winogrand, (born January 14, 1928, Bronx, New York, U.S.—died March 19, 1984, Tijuana, Mexico), American street photographer known for his spontaneous images of people in public engaged in everyday life, particularly of New Yorkers during the 1960s. His unusual camera angles, uncanny sense of timing, and ability to capture bizarre and sometimes implausible configurations of people, places, and things made him one of the most influential photographers of his generation. He was extremely prolific, and though he died young, Winogrand created a vast corpus of work that documented society across the United States over the course of three decades.

Supported by the G.I. Bill after spending two years in the army, Winogrand attended City College of New York (1947–48) and then Columbia University, where he studied painting (1948–51). He was introduced to photography by the school newspaper’s photographer, George Zimbel, who showed him the 24-hour darkroom. They formed the “Midnight to Dawn” club, its name reflecting their all-night work in the darkroom. Winogrand (along with Zimbel) also studied photography with Alexey Brodovitch in 1949 on a scholarship at the New School for Social Research (now the New School). Brodovitch encouraged his students to rely on instinct rather than science and methodical technique when photographing, advice that had a significant impact on Winogrand’s approach to his craft. Along with other photographers of his generation, such as Lee Friedlander, Joel Meyerowitz, and Diane Arbus, Winogrand worked tirelessly to capture the theatre of the street.

Early in his career Winogrand worked as a photojournalist for Pix, Inc., a photo bureau that provided images to news and feature magazines. Starting in 1954, under the mentorship of agent Henrietta Brackman, Winogrand sold commercial photographs to magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Collier’s, Redbook, Life, and Look, popular publications then in their heyday. In 1955 Winogrand’s work was included in the seminal exhibition The Family of Man, curated by photographer Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. By the end of the 1950s, with television increasingly displacing magazines and photojournalists, Winogrand turned to making more-personal work.

Winogrand’s aesthetic vision began to emerge in 1960, when he took to the streets of New York City with his Leica camera and his bravado and began using a wide-angle lens to create lyrical photographs of the human condition. Taking cues from documentary photographers Walker Evans and Robert Frank—the latter of whom was getting attention for his grainy candid photos—Winogrand taught himself how to tilt the camera with the wide-angle lens in such a way that allowed him to include elements that, given his close vantage point, would have otherwise been cut off by the frame. This practice also resulted in unusual compositions with a certain amount of distortion. Shooting many frames in quick succession, Winogrand did not strive for the classical composition of traditional photography. The tilted-frame technique, as opposed to placing the horizon line parallel to the frame, was Winogrand’s (successful) experiment and subsequently became common practice among street photographers. His style quickly acquired the name “snapshot aesthetic,” a term Winogrand rejected because it implied that his approach was casual and without focus.

His photographs of people, primarily women, in public places and on the street—especially Fifth Avenue in New York City—were tinged with humour and satire. That work culminated in the 1975 book Women Are Beautiful, which seemed misogynistic to many readers. Winogrand was included with Ken Heyman, George Krause, Jerome Liebling, and Minor White in the 1963 MoMA exhibition Five Unrelated Photographers. The following year he was granted a Guggenheim fellowship (his first of three), which allowed him to pursue his work without financial concern. He showed his photographs in a 1967 group exhibition at MoMA titled “New Documents”; the show included Arbus and Friedlander, photographers with whom he has been associated ever since. That, and all but one of his other exhibitions at MoMA, was curated by John Szarkowski, director of the MoMA’s photography department and Winogrand’s greatest champion. In addition to people, Winogrand photographed animals in Central Park Zoo and Coney Island’s New York Aquarium. He published some of those images in the book The Animals (1969)—which was a commercial failure—and exhibited them at MoMA in 1970.

In 1971 Winogrand began teaching, first at the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design (through 1972) and then at the University of Texas at Austin (1973–78), before moving to Los Angeles. Capturing such Los Angeles sites as Hollywood Boulevard, Venice Beach, the Los Angeles International Airport, and the Ivar Theater, a strip club, began to command his attention. From this period until his death, he photographed obsessively and did not edit even a fraction of the thousands of rolls of film that he shot. Winogrand produced a few discrete series in the 1970s, one of which was Public Relations. For that series, which Winogrand started shooting in 1969, he photographed high-profile events such as protests, press conferences, sports games, campaign rallies, and museum openings in order to capture what he called “the effect of the media on events”—in other words, the way people look and how they behave when they are participating in an event that will be reported in the media. The series became a book and an exhibition at MoMA guest-curated by fellow photographer and friend Tod Papageorge in 1977. Winogrand’s other big project of the 1970s was the cleverly titled Stock Photographs, documenting the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, an annual livestock exposition and rodeo, which became Winogrand’s final photo book, published in 1980.

Winogrand died suddenly at age 56, six weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer. He left a body of work that was in complete disarray, with about 35,000 prints, 6,600 rolls of film (2,500 rolls of exposed but undeveloped film and 4,100 processed but not reviewed), 45,000 colour transparencies, and about 22,000 contact sheets (nearly 800,000 images). Winogrand’s frenetic style captured the chaos of life with immediacy and energy and left an indelible mark on 20th-century photography. His archive, most of which is held at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, continued to yield new unprinted work for decades after his death. The first major retrospective of Winogrand’s work in 25 years, held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2013, exhibited nearly 100 photos that the photographer himself had never seen.

Naomi Blumberg



Garry Winogrand.
Beautiful Women - The Daily Beast

 
 
 
Bill Brandt
Bill Brandt, byname of Hermann Wilhelm Brandt (born May 1904, Hamburg, Germany—died December 20, 1983, London, England), photographer known principally for his documentation of 20th-century British life and for his unusual nudes.

Following early schooling in Germany and a stay in Switzerland, during which he took up photography, Brandt briefly worked in the Paris studio of the American artist and photographer Man Ray in 1929. In 1931 he returned to England and became a freelance photojournalist, producing a series of photographs depicting the daily life of all strata of English society; they were published as The English at Home (1936). Many of these photographs reveal the influence of Eugène Atget, Brassaï, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, all of whom similarly documented their immediate surroundings. Brandt’s debt to these photographers is also evident in his subsequent collection, A Night in London (1938).

In the late 1930s, working as a photojournalist for Lilliput and Picture Post, Brandt began to photograph the industrial cities and coal-mining districts of northern England, creating images that reveal the desperation of England’s industrial workers during the 1930s. When World War II began, Brandt became a staff photographer for the British Home Office, capturing home-front scenes such as Londoners crowded into air-raid shelters in the city’s underground train stations. He also made photographs such as St. Paul’s Cathedral in the Moonlight (1942), which reveals the ghostly beauty of London’s deserted streets during the blackouts.

After the war Brandt photographed a series of landscapes associated with English literature, published as Literary Britain (1951). His work in the 1950s became increasingly expressionistic, culminating in his best-known collection, Perspective of Nudes (1961). In several of these photographs he placed his extremely wide-angle fixed-focus camera at close range to the human body; this caused distortion and transformed the human figure into a series of abstract designs. In other photographs from this time, however, Brandt made the distorted human form become an integral element of a stark landscape of cliffs and rocky beach. He published two collections of his work, Shadow of Light (1966; rev. ed., 1977) and Bill Brandt Nudes: 1945–1980 (1980).



Bill Brandt. East Sussex Coast, 1967

 
 
 
Otto Steinert
Otto Steinert, (born July 12, 1915, Saarbrücken, Germany—died March 3, 1978, Essen-Werden, West Germany [now Germany]), German photographer, teacher, and physician, who was the founder of the Fotoform movement of postwar German photographers.

Steinert studied medicine at various universities from 1934 to 1939 and was a medical officer during World War II. He abandoned medicine for photography about 1947, when he became a portrait photographer. He was best known as the founder, in 1949, and intellectual mentor of the Fotoform group of photographers, whose innovative images he displayed at the Photokina exhibition in Cologne in 1950. The photographers in the group created mostly abstract images, often derived from close-up views of patterns from nature or from manipulating negatives and prints. Steinert mounted three more highly influential photographic exhibitions (each called “Subjektive Fotografie”), in 1951, 1954, and 1958, which showcased the entire spectrum of West German photography since World War II, with an emphasis on abstraction. Photographers including László Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray were included in the 1951 show.

Steinert abandoned Fotoform in the late 1950s, but he continued to be an influential figure among photographers as a teacher. He taught and eventually became the director of the Staatliche Werkkunstschule, where he worked from 1952 until his death. During this period he also acted as director of the Folkswangschule in Essen.



Otto Steinert. Carnaval d'enfants

 
 
 
Hiroshi Sugimoto
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Japanese form Sugimoto Hiroshi (born 1948, Tokyo, Japan), Japanese photographer whose realistic images of intangible or impossible phenomena challenged the understanding of photography as an “objective” art form.

Sugimoto received a B.A. in sociology and politics from St. Paul’s University in Tokyo in 1970. In 1972 he obtained a B.F.A. in photography from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, remaining in California after he received his degree. He moved to New York City in 1974, and in 1976 he conceived his first body of work, Dioramas. Photographing exhibits inside natural history museums, Sugimoto’s images brought to life extinct creatures and prehistoric situations. The photographs took on a sense of authenticity that the museum dioramas themselves did not possess. In his next series, Theaters, begun in 1978, he photographed movie theatres and drive-ins with an exposure the length of the film’s duration. All that appeared visible in the photographs was the luminescent rectangular screen in the centre of the theatre and the surrounding architectural details.

In 1995 Sugimoto mounted a three-part exhibition of more than 120 photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Two years later the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles commissioned him to take architectural portraits of the world’s iconic landmarks and buildings for an exhibition called “At the End of the Century: One Hundred Years of Architecture.” The exhibition debuted in Tokyo in 1998 and traveled to Mexico City, Cologne, Germany, and Chicago before it arrived in Los Angeles in 2000. Also in 2000, the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin presented “Sugimoto: Portraits,” which traveled to New York City in 2001. Sugimoto’s life-sized black-and-white images of figures from wax museums were photographed in the spirit of Renaissance portraiture. In many of those portraits the subjects look as if they actually sat for the photographer.

Sugimoto received the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award in 1999 and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 2001. The latter honour, accompanied by a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Hasselblad Center in the Göteberg (Sweden) Museum of Art, recognized Sugimoto for his combination of “Eastern meditative ideas with Western cultural motifs.”

In 2002 Sugimoto mounted his first major solo exhibition in the United Kingdom as part of the annual Edinburgh International Festival. “The Architecture of Time” was presented at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Scotland’s highly regarded contemporary art space, and the Stills Gallery, the country’s leading centre for photography and digital media. The exhibition incorporated more than 30 large-scale images from Sugimoto’s Seascapes and Architecture series and a new work, Pinetrees, a multipaneled piece he created specifically for the festival. “Time exposed” was the phrase Sugimoto used to describe his artistic effort, referring to the length of exposure (sometimes as long as an hour and a half or more) during which each image slowly burned onto the film. Photographed with a 19th-century large-format camera, long exposures, and 8 × 10-in (20 × 25-cm) negatives, Sugimoto’s work had the meditative quality of Japanese art.

In later years Sugimoto continued to mount solo exhibitions at major art museums in North America, Europe, and Asia, most notably at the Mori Museum in Tokyo (2005), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. (2006), the Royal Ontario Museum (2007), and the National Museum of Art in Ōsaka, Japan (2008). In 2009 he installed a permanent piece, Coffin of Light, in Benesse Park, Naoshima, Japan. Also that year, he received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for “painting” (broadly conceived).

Marla Caplan



Hiroshi Sugimoto. Untitled

 
 
 
Helen Levitt
Helen Levitt, (born Aug. 31, 1913, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.—died March 29, 2009, New York), American photographer whose work captures the bustle, squalor, and beauty of everyday life in New York City.

Levitt began her career in photography at age 18 working in a portrait studio in the Bronx. After seeing the works of French photographer Henri-Cartier Bresson, she was inspired to purchase a 35-mm Leica camera and began to scour the poor neighbourhoods of her native New York for subject matter. About 1938 she took her portfolio to photographer Walker Evans’s studio, where she also met novelist and film critic James Agee, who had collaborated with Evans on the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). She struck up friendships with the two men, occasionally accompanying the former on his photo shoots in the city.

During this period Levitt often chose children, especially the underprivileged, as her subject matter. Her first show, “Photographs of Children,” was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1943 and featured the humanity that infuses much of her work. Included in this show were photographs from her visit in 1941 to Mexico City, where she photographed the city’s street life. Agee wrote the introduction to Levitt’s book of photographs entitled A Way of Seeing: Photographs of New York, which she compiled in the late 1940s. (The book was not published until 1965, 10 years after Agee’s death.) In it, he praised Levitt’s photographs, finding them “as beautiful, perceptive, satisfying and enduring as any lyrical work that I know.”

In the mid-1940s Levitt collaborated with Agee, filmmaker Sidney Meyers, and painter Janice Loeb on The Quiet One, a prizewinning documentary about a young African American boy, and with Agee and Loeb on the film In the Street, which captures everyday life in East Harlem. For the next decade she concentrated on film editing and directing. In 1959 and 1960 she received Guggenheim Fellowships to investigate techniques using colour photography. The slides that resulted from the project, shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1963, were stolen from her apartment before they could be duplicated. Levitt focused for the rest of the 1960s on film work and resumed photography in the 1970s, with a major Museum of Modern Art show in 1974.

There are several books of Levitt’s photography, including In the Street: Chalk Drawings and Messages, New York City, 1938–1948 (1987), Mexico City (1997), Crosstown (2001), Slide Show (2005), and Helen Levitt (2008).



Helen Levitt. Untitled

 
 
 
 
Roy DeCarava
Roy DeCarava, in full Roy Rudolph DeCarava (born Dec. 9, 1919, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Oct. 27, 2009, New York), American photographer whose images of African Americans chronicle subjects such as daily life in Harlem, the civil rights movement, and jazz musicians.

DeCarava won a scholarship to study at the Cooper Union School of Art (1938–40), but he left after two years to attend the more congenial Harlem Community Art Center (1940–42)—where he had access to such figures as the artists Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence and the poet Langston Hughes—and the George Washington Carver Art School (1944–45), where he studied with the Social Realist Charles White. He initially took up photography to record images he would use in his painting, but he came to prefer the camera to the brush. In the late 1940s he began a series of scenes of his native Harlem, aiming for “a creative expression, the kind of penetrating insight and understanding of Negroes which I believe only a Negro photographer can interpret.” Edward Steichen, then curator of photography for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, attended DeCarava’s first solo show in 1950 and bought several prints for the museum’s collection. In 1952 DeCarava was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the first African American photographer to receive the grant. Many of the photos enabled by this award were compiled in the book The Sweet Flypaper of Life (1955; reissued 1988), with text written by Hughes. In 1958 DeCarava became a freelance photographer.

His interest in education led him to found A Photographer’s Gallery (1955–57), which tried to gain public recognition for photography as an art, and a workshop for African American photographers in 1963. He also taught at the Cooper Union School of Art from 1969 to 1972. In 1975 he joined the faculty at Hunter College. He is perhaps best known for his portraits of jazz musicians, which capture the essence of such legends as Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday in the midst of performances. These portraits, which he began in 1956, were shown in 1983 in an exhibit at Harlem’s Studio Museum. Many of DeCarava’s jazz portraits were published in The Sound I Saw: Improvisation on a Jazz Theme (2001). In 1996 the Museum of Modern Art organized a DeCarava retrospective that traveled to several cities and introduced his work to a new generation. DeCarava received a National Medal of Arts in 2006.



Roy DeCarava.

 
 
 
Raghubir Singh
Raghubir Singh, (born Oct. 22, 1942, Jaipur, India—died April 18, 1999, New York, N.Y., U.S.), Indian photographer noted for his evocative documentation of the landscape and peoples of India.

Educated in art at Hindu College in New Delhi, Singh was self-trained in photography. His own creative work was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s images of India, which Singh discovered while still a youth; in 1966 he met the French photographer and was able to observe how he worked. Unlike Cartier-Bresson, however, Singh used colour film, which he felt to be supremely suited to the visual scene in his homeland. From 1974, when he started to freelance, until 1976, when he moved to Europe, he worked mainly out of New Delhi, providing images to such periodicals as National Geographic, Life, and Der Stern.

At various times Singh resided in Paris and New York, but no matter where he lived, he always felt his “roots to be in India” with its greatly varied landscape and baffling social complexity. Over the course of his career, he published 12 books of photographs of colour images, each concerned with a different region. The earliest of his books, Ganga: Sacred River of India (1974), revealed the photographer’s enchantment with the myths and ceremonies associated with that river. Later he photographed the people of Rajasthan, Kashmir, Varanasi, and Calcutta, among other places.

In part because of Singh’s use of colour, these works were criticized as travel books rather than documentations of reality, but Singh denied that he glamourized India. In his own defense, he stated, “I realized fairly early there was no contradiction between sadness or poverty, and colour.” The last book published during his life was River of Colour: The India of Raghubir Singh (1998). It was followed by the posthumously published A Way into India (2002). Whatever is ultimately made of Singh’s artistry, his breathtaking images of Indian scenes made widely available impressive visions of the country he loved.



Raghubir Singh

 
 
 
Robert Frank
Robert Frank, (born November 9, 1924, Zürich, Switzerland), one of the most influential photographers of the mid-20th century, noted for ironic renderings of American life.

Frank became a professional industrial photographer at the age of 22 and in the 1940s became a successful fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in Paris. He felt, however, that the scope of the work was too limited. He abandoned fashion photography about 1948 and went to the United States and then to Peru to explore the expressive possibilities of the 35-mm camera.

After photographing in Europe in 1950 and 1953, Frank returned to the United States. There in 1955 and 1956 he made a series of photographs ultimately published as The Americans (1959), a photographic book with a text by the American novelist Jack Kerouac. Photographs such as Chicago, 1956 in The Americans reveal Frank’s mature style, which is characterized by bold composition and ironic, sometimes bitter, social commentary. Their publication established Frank as a major creative photographer.

After 1959 he turned primarily to cinematography. His first motion picture, Pull My Daisy (1959), was based on a play by Kerouac and featured the poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Peter Orlovsky, as well as the painter Larry Rivers. Pull My Daisy was a critical success, but Frank’s later films were not so well received.


Robert Frank. Trolley, New Orleans, 1955

 
 
Bruce Davidson
Bruce Davidson, (born September 5, 1933, Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.), American photographer and filmmaker whose emotionally charged images frequently convey the loneliness and isolation of the subjects portrayed.

Davidson studied photography at the Rochester (New York) Institute of Technology (1951–54) and the School of Design of Yale University (1955) in New Haven, Connecticut. He worked for Life magazine for a year before joining the Magnum Photos cooperative in 1958. During this period he produced a number of outstanding photo-essays on such subjects as a circus clown, a Brooklyn teenage gang, Welsh mining towns, and London life. Davidson’s first important published project was East 100th Street (1970), a book of 123 photographs of the inhabitants of a single block in East Harlem in New York City. Davidson selected these photos from the more than 1,000 he took, with a large-format camera, over a two-year period. The pictures are distinguished by the sensitivity and dignity afforded to the subjects and by the close rapport that is evident between the photographer and those he portrayed. Books featuring his photographs include Subsistence U.S.A. (1973), with text by Carol Hill, Bruce Davidson Photographs (1978), Subway (1986), Central Park (1995), and In Color (2014). He has also made several short films.



Bruce Davidson. Brooklyn Gang

 
 
 
Lee Friedlander
Lee Friedlander, in full Lee Norman Friedlander (born July 14, 1934, Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.), American photographer known for his asymmetrical black-and-white pictures of the American “social landscape”—everyday people, places, and things.

Friedlander’s interest in photography struck when he was 14. He studied briefly at the Art Center School in Los Angeles before moving to New York City in 1956. When he arrived in New York, Friedlander began his career by taking pictures for Atlantic Records of the label’s blues and jazz musicians—including Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane. He also started to work as a freelance photographer for magazines such as Collier’s, Esquire, McCall’s, and Sports Illustrated.

In the 1960s Friedlander emerged, along with Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus, as part of a generation of street photographers, using a “snapshot aesthetic” to capture contemporary urban life with unflinching realism. Friedlander took black-and-white pictures with a Leica 35-mm camera. From the start, he used reflections in storefront windows, plate-glass doors, and side-view mirrors to complicate the viewing experience. He also incorporated street signs, doors, and windows as framing devices. One of his best-known photographs, New York City (1963; sometimes called Revolving Door), shows a man and a woman walking toward one another through two different revolving doors. Friedlander photographed them from outside a glass door, introducing yet another reflective surface and set of frames. The deliberate fragmentation and ambiguity of his compositions became Friedlander’s trademark. He photographed the same cities, streets, and types of scenes over and over again, leading critics to draw comparisons to the turn-of-the-century Parisian photographer Eugène Atget.

In the tradition of his predecessors Robert Frank and Walker Evans, Friedlander took frequent road trips throughout the United States, and the people and places he saw on those trips became his primary source material. In 1962–63 he photographed the small televisions that were becoming ubiquitous in houses and motels throughout the country. The photographs are named by the city in which they were taken and include no people, just televisions left on in empty rooms. In 1963 Harper’s Bazaar published the series alongside an essay by Evans, in which he praised Friedlander’s work. That same year Friedlander had his first solo exhibition at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Friedlander’s major break occurred in 1967 when John Szarkowski, scholar and curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City, included him in the groundbreaking exhibition “New Documents.” That exhibition acknowledged a new brand of documentary photography that celebrated the specific point of view of the photographer. Thirty of Friedlander’s photographs, many of which were street scenes, were exhibited alongside those by Winogrand and Arbus. The exhibition catapulted the careers of all three photographers.

Friedlander was particularly well known for his self-portraits, which he created throughout his career. Self-Portrait was his first publication. Printed in 1970 by the photographer’s own firm, Haywire Press, the photo book included nearly 50 images of the artist represented as a shadow or a reflection, or occasionally as visible in person. By inserting himself into photographs in indirect ways, Friedlander defied the basic rule of never letting the photographer’s shadow or reflection disrupt the composition. In 2011 he published another book of self-portraits, In the Picture: Self-Portraits, 1958–2011, that time including more than 350 images.

Among the many photo books Friedlander issued in the 20th century were The American Monument (1976), a series of some 100 monuments to American heroes and historical figures, and Factory Valleys: Ohio and Pennsylvania (1982), a commission by the Akron Art Museum to document industrial sites and workers in the Ohio River valley. He also photographed landscapes, nudes, and portraits, issuing books such as Flowers and Trees (1981), Portraits (1985), Cherry Blossom Time in Japan (1986), and Nudes (1991). In the 1990s Friedlander switched from a Leica to a square-format Hasselblad Superwide camera, which heightened the detail and produced very sharp images. The wide-angle lens was more suitable to the photographs he began taking of the vast landscapes of the American West and Southwest, such as those published in The Desert Seen (1996), a series on the Sonoran Desert.

In 2000 MoMA acquired 1,000 prints by Friedlander, their largest acquisition of work by any living photographer. Five years later they staged a retrospective comprising nearly 500 photographs, spanning his entire career. In 2010 the Whitney Museum of American Art held the exhibition “America by Car,” a collection of 192 images taken by Friedlander from his car over the preceding decade. Among his numerous awards and honours were three Guggenheim fellowships (1960, 1962, and 1977), four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980), an Edward MacDowell Medal (1986), French Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters (1999), a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” (1990), and a Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2005).

Naomi Blumberg



Lee Friedlander. Brooklyn Gang

 
 
 
Seydou Keita
Seydou Keïta, (born 1921/23?, French Sudan—died Nov. 21, 2001, Paris, France), Malian photographer who , fashioned insightful studio portraits of ordinary Malian people, usually posed with intriguing combinations of African and Western clothing and props that he provided. Keïta, who was entirely self-trained, founded a small photography studio in the city of Bamako in 1948 and quickly gained a reputation for formal portraiture. He was designated the Republic of Mali’s official photographer in 1962 and closed his studio to concentrate on his new duties, but he carefully preserved and stored thousands of black-and-white images. He retired from government service in 1977. In the late 1990s Keïta’s early work was discovered by André Magnin of the Contemporary African Art Collection in Paris. Thereafter, Keïta’s portraits were exhibited in Paris and across the U.S. A book dedicated to his photography was published in 1997, and in early 2001 the Seydou Keïta Foundation was established in Bamako to preserve his work and to support young African artists.



Seydou Keïta.
 
 
 
Lisette Model
Lisette Model, original name in full Elise Amélie Felice Stern (family name changed to Seybert, 1903) (born Nov. 10, 1901, Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now Austria]—died March 30, 1983, New York, N.Y., U.S.), photographer and teacher known for her unconventional street images and ruthlessly candid portraits.

Born to a Jewish Austrian-Italian father and French Catholic mother, Model was educated first in Vienna and then in Paris. Her music studies with the avant-garde composer Arnold Schoenberg introduced her to experimental ideas in the other arts. In Paris in 1926 she came into contact with other émigré artists, including the photographers Rogi André and Florence Henri and possibly Berenice Abbott. About 1933 she abandoned all efforts to pursue a career in music; after a brief interlude as an art student (with André Lhote), she turned to photography as a means of earning a living. Her sister, Olga, taught her the rudiments of film development and darkroom processes. In 1934 Model produced Promenade des Anglais, a series of startling, satiric portraits of the idle rich named for its setting, the road that runs along the seafront in Nice, France. These images, a selection of which appeared in the French journal Regards in 1935 and later in the New York newspaper PM, established Model as a master photographer and they remain among her most often reproduced images.

She married Russian-born painter Evsa Model in 1937, and a year later the couple immigrated to New York City. Stimulated by the city’s energy, Model embarked on a new phase of photography, making images of street activity and reflections in store windows, as well as portraits of celebrities, entertainers, and street people. Her work appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and in various publications, notably Harper’s Bazaar, for which she freelanced between 1941 and 1955.

Beginning in 1951, Model taught photography for some 30 years at the New School for Social Research and, for part of that period, in private classes held at her home. Her uncompromising and passionate approach to photography influenced a great many of her students, among them Diane Arbus and Rosalind Solomon.



Lisette Model.

 
 
 
Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus, original name Diane Nemerov (born March 14, 1923, New York, New York, U.S.—died July 26, 1971, New York City), American photographer, best known for her compelling, often disturbing, portraits of people from the edges of society.

Diane Nemerov was the daughter of Gertrude Russek and David Nemerov, proprietors of a department store. Her older brother was the poet and critic Howard Nemerov. At age 18 she married Allan Arbus (divorced 1969), an employee at her family’s store. Before separating, they worked collaboratively, first taking photographs and creating advertisements for the store, then creating commercial fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar, Show, Esquire, Glamour, The New York Times, and Vogue.

After taking a brief photography course with Berenice Abbott, Arbus met Lisette Model, an Austrian-born documentary photographer, and studied with her from about 1955 to 1957. With Model’s encouragement Arbus gave up commercial work to concentrate on fine-art photography. In 1960 Esquire published Arbus’s first photo-essay, in which she effectively juxtaposed privilege and squalor in New York City. Thereafter she made a living as a freelance photographer and photography instructor.

In 1963 and 1966 Arbus received Guggenheim fellowships to be part of a project titled “American Rites, Manners, and Customs.” During this period she mastered her technique of using a square format, which emphasizes the subject more than the photograph’s composition. She also used flash lighting, which gives her work a sense of theatricality and surrealism. She began at that time to explore the subjects that would occupy her for much of her career: individuals living on the outskirts of society and “normalcy,” such as nudists, transvestites, dwarfs, and the mentally or physically handicapped. Her own evident intimacy with the extraordinary subjects of her photos resulted in images that engage the sympathy and collusion of the viewer and elicit a strong response. Some critics saw her work as remarkably empathetic to its subjects, while others were disturbed by what they saw as a harsh, voyeuristic look into the lives of the disadvantaged.

In 1971 Arbus committed suicide. A collection of her photos was published in 1972 in connection with a successful major exhibition of her work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. That same year her work was shown at the Venice Biennale, marking the first time that an American photographer received that distinction. In 2003 an extensive exhibition of her work opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and later traveled throughout the United States and Europe. An accompanying book, Diane Arbus Revelations (2003), contained some 200 photographs as well as excerpts from her letters and notebooks. In 2007 Arbus’s estate gifted her complete archives—including photographic equipment, diary pages, and the negatives of some 7,500 rolls of film—to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.



Diane Arbus. Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, New York City (1962)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pictures in Print: Fashion and Celebrities

Commercial uses of photography always have included fashion and celebrity images, a specialty that is neither strictly documentation nor advertising. The appearance in the 1920s of specialized periodicals devoted to fashion enlarged the creative opportunities for photographers interested in these subjects. Often they were permitted a more fanciful approach than was considered suitable in ordinary product advertising or photojournalism because their goal was to create an illusion, in which artifice was a prime ingredient. Made to establish canons of taste while attracting buyers, these pictorial configurations of model, garment, pose, and decor are as much indications of changing styles in the arts as of attire. And it can be argued also that fashion imagery is significant as an index of transformations in social, cultural, and sexual mores and thus is indicative of attitudes by and toward women in society.

Fashion imagery, as might be expected, got its start in the world's fashion capital—Paris—where in the late 1800s the Reutlinger Studio, Bissonais et Taponnier, and Seeberger Freres, among others, provided images for Parisian magazines. But it was the transformation of Vogue, late in the second decade of this century, from a society journal to a magazine devoted to presenting elegant attire for the elite that marked the real beginning of fashion photography as a genre. Published in three separate editions in London, New York, and Paris by Conde Nast, Vogue at first featured opulent soft-focus confections exemplified by the work of Pictorialist Adolf de Meyer (known as Baron), who was replaced by Steichcn in 1923, but continued to photograph in what had become an outmoded style for Harper's Bazaar. Steichen, in his role as chief photographer for Conde Nast publications in the United States, was the catalyst behind the "new look" in fashion photography during the 1920s; he arranged and composed individual models, groups, and properties into vividly patterned ensembles that displayed an instinctive flair for dramatic contrasts and for the decorative possibilities of geometric shapes. His work was immediately recognized as stylistically consistent with Other emblems of 1920s modernism—the skyscraper, machine forms, and jazz. And Toward the end of the decade, as the New Objectivity came to the fore, Steichen transformed this style into a chic yet expressive language suitable for both fashion and celebrity images, as can be seen in his close-up of actress Anna May Wong, which, in addition to creating an arresting design reminiscent of Brancusi's sculptured heads, suggests characteristics of inwardness and mystery.

Steichen's influence was felt in Europe as well as in the United States. In its wake, George Hoyningen-Huene born in Russia and active in France between 192s and 1935, during which time he contributed regularly to Paris Vogjue) combined his strong admiration for the statuary of classical antiquity with the clean functionalism of the New Objectivity, achieving the distinctive if somewhat bizarre style typified by his 1930 spread for bathing attire. In France at the time, Madame D'Ora and Egidio Scaione, an Italian photographer with a large commercial practice, handled similar themes with an icy elegance that epitomizes the style moderne—the French version of the New Objectivity. When inventive British photographer and stage designer Beaton turned to celebrity and fashion images in 1929, he joined his penchant for lush baroque fantasies with a modern touch, producing alluring pictures such as Marlene Dietrich. The British editions of both Vogue and Harper's Bazaar provided commissions for a number of British fashion photographers, among them Dorothy Wilding and Barbara Ker-Seymer, who transferred the mechanistic suavities of the objective manner to their portraits of celebrities.


REUTLINGER STUDIO, Pans. Dinner Dress by Panem,
published in Les Modes Magazine, March. 1906.
Halftone reproduction-Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.



BARON ADOLF DE MEYER. A Wedding Dress, Modeled by Helen Lee Worthing, 1920.
Gelatin silver print. Vogue, New York.


EDWARD STEICHEN. Anna May Wong, 1930.
Gelatin silver print. Collection George H. Dalsheimer, Baltimore. Vanity Fair, New York.


GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE. Untitled, (Fashion Izod), 1930.
Vogue, New York.

GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE

Baron George Hoyningen-Huene (1900 - 1968) was a seminal fashion photographer of the 1920s and 1930s. He was born in Russia to Baltic German and American parents and spent his working life in France, England and the United States.
Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on September 4, 1900, Hoyningen-Huene was the only son of Baron Barthold Theodorevitch von Hoyningen-Huene (1859-1942), a Baltic nobleman and military officer, and his wife, Emily Anne "Nan" Lothrop (1860-1927), a daughter of George Van Ness Lothrop, an American minister to Russia. (The couple was married in Detroit, Michigan, in 1888.) He had two sisters. Helen (died 1976) became a fashion designer in France and the United States, using the name Helen de Huene. Elizabeth (1891-1973), also known as Betty, also became a fashion designer (using the name Mme. Yteb in the 1920s and 1930s) and married, first, Baron Wrangel, and, second, Lt. Col. Charles Norman Buzzard, a British Army officer.

During the Russian Revolution, the Hoyningen-Huenes fled to first London, and later Paris. By 1925 George had already worked his way up to chief of photography of the French Vogue. In 1931 he met Horst, the future photographer, who became his lover and frequent model, and traveled to England with him that winter. While there, they visited photographer Cecil Beaton, who was working for the British edition of Vogue. In 1931, Horst began his association with vouge, publishing his first photograph in the French edition of Vogue in November of that year.
In 1935 Hoyningen-Huene moved to New York City where he did most of his work for Harper's Bazaar. He published two art books on Greece and Egypt before relocating to Hollywood, where he earned his wedge by shooting glamorous portraits for the film industry.

Hoyningen-Huene worked before anything resembling contemporary flash photography was known. Working in huge studios and with whatever lighting worked best. There is something about the texture of his black and whites that one seldom finds in contemporary work. Beyond fashion, he was a master portraitist as well from Hollywood stars to other celebrities.
He also worked in Hollywood in various capacities in the film industry, working closely with George Cukor, notably as special visual and color consultant for the 1954 Judy Garland movie A Star Is Born. He served a similar role for the 1957 film Les Girls, which starred Kay Kendall and Mitzi Gaynor and the Sophia Loren film Heller in Pink Tights.
He died at 68 years of age in Los Angeles.



CECIL BEATON. Marlene Dietrich, 1932.
Gelatin silver print. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

CECIL BEATON

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (14 January 1904 – 18 January 1980) was an English fashion and portrait photographer and an Academy Award-winning stage and costume designer for films and the theatre.
Beaton was born in Hampstead the son of Ernest Beaton and his wife Etty Sissons. His grandfather had founded the family business of Beaton Brothers Timber Merchants and Agents, and his father followed into the business. Ernest Beaton was also an amateur actor and had met his wife, Cecil's mother, when playing the lead in a play. Cecil Beaton was educated at Heath Mount School and St Cyprian's School, Eastbourne, where his artistic talent was quickly recognised. Both Cyril Connolly and Henry Longhurst report in their autobiographies being overwhelmed by the beauty of Beaton's singing at the St Cyprian's school concerts. When Beaton was growing up his Nanny had a Kodak 3A Camera, a popular model which was renowned for being an ideal piece of equipment to learn on. Beaton's nanny began teaching him the basics of photography and developing them in his basement. He would often get his sisters and mother to sit for him. When he was sufficiently proficient, he would send the photos off to London society magazines, often writing under a pen name and ‘recommending’ the work of Beaton.

Beaton went on to Harrow, and then, despite having little or no interest in academia, moved on to St John's College, Cambridge, and studied history, art and architecture. Beaton continued his photography, and through his university contacts managed to get a portrait sitting with the Duchess of Amalfi — actually George "Dadie" Rylands, and as Beaton recalled years later: "It was a slightly out-of-focus snapshot of him as Webster's Duchess of Malfi standing in the sub-aqueous light outside the men's lavatory of the ADC Theatre at Cambridge." The resulting images gave Beaton his first ever piece of published work when Vogue magazine bought and printed the photos.
Beaton left Cambridge without a degree in 1925, but only coped with salaried employment in his father's timber business for eight days.

Beaton designed book jackets and costumes for charity matinees, learning the professional craft of photography at the studio of Paul Tanqueray, until Vogue took him on regularly in 1927. He also set up his own studio, and one of his earliest clients and, later, best friends was Stephen Tennant; Beaton's photographs of Tennant and his circle are considered some of the best representations of the "Bright Young Things" of the twenties and thirties.
He was a photographer for the British edition of Vogue in 1931 when George Hoyningen-Huene, photographer for the French Vogue traveled to England with his new friend Horst. Horst himself would begin to work for French Vogue in November of that year. The exchange and cross pollination of ideas between this collegial circle of artists across the Channel and the Atlantic gave rise to the look of style and sophistication for which the 1930s are known.
Beaton is best known for his fashion photographs and society portraits. He worked as a staff photographer for Vanity Fair and Vogue in addition to photographing celebrities in Hollywood.Beaton's first camera was a Kodak 3A folding camera. Over the course of his career, he employed both large format cameras, and smaller Rolleiflex cameras. Beaton was never known as a highly skilled technical photographer, and instead focused on staging a compelling model or scene and looking for the perfect shutter-release moment.

Beaton often photographed the Royal Family for official publication. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother was his favourite Royal sitter, and he once pocketed her scented hankie as a keepsake from a highly successful shoot. Beaton took the famous wedding pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (wearing an ensemble by the noted fashion designer Mainbocher).
During the Second World War, Beaton was initially posted to the Ministry of Information and given the task of recording images from the home front. During this assignment he captured one of the most enduring images of British suffering during the war, that of three-year-old Blitz victim Eileen Dunne recovering in hospital, clutching her beloved teddy bear. When the image was published, America had not yet officially joined the war — but splashed across the press in the USA, images such as Beaton’s helped push the American public to put pressure on their Government to help Britain in its hour of need.
Beaton had a major influence on and relationship with two other leading lights in British photography, that of Angus McBean and David Bailey. McBean was arguably the best portrait photographer of his era — in the second part of McBeans career (post war) his work is clearly heavily influenced by Beaton, though arguably McBean was technically far more proficient in his execution. Bailey was also enormously influenced by Beaton when they met whilst working for British Vogue in the early 1960s, Bailey's stark use of square format (6x6) images bears clear connections to Beaton's own working patterns.

After the war, Beaton tackled the Broadway stage, designing sets, costumes, and lighting for a 1946 revival of Lady Windermere's Fan, in which he also acted.
His most lauded achievement for the stage was the sets and costumes for Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady (1956), which led to two Lerner and Loewe film musicals, Gigi (1958) and My Fair Lady (1964), both of which earned Beaton the Academy Award for Costume Design. He also designed the period costumes for the 1970 film On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
Additional Broadway credits include The Grass Harp (1952), The Chalk Garden (1955), Saratoga (1959), Tenderloin (1960), and Coco (1969). He is the winner of four Tony Awards.

In 1972, he was knighted. Two years later he suffered a stroke that would leave him permanently paralysed on the right side of his body. Although he learnt to write and draw with his left hand, and had cameras adapted, Beaton became frustrated by the new limitations the stroke had put upon his work. As a result of his stroke, Beaton became anxious about financial security for his old age and, in 1976, entered into negotiations with Philippe Garner, expert-in-charge of photographs at Sotheby's. On behalf of the auction house, Garner acquired Beaton's archive — excluding all portraits of the Royal Family, and the five decades of prints held by Vogue in London, Paris and New York. Garner, who had almost singlehandedly invented the photographic auction, oversaw the archive's preservation and partial dispersal, so that Beaton's only tangible assets, and what he considered his life's work, would ensure him an annual income. The first of five auctions was held in 1977, the last in 1980.
By the end of the 1970s, Beaton's health had faded to that of an old man. In January 1980, he died during the night at his grand home in Broad Chalke in Wiltshire.

Although the great love of his life was art collector Peter Watson, he did, however, have relationships with women, including the actress Greta Garbo and the British socialite Doris, Viscountess Castlerosse. His heterosexual virginity was taken by the American socialite Marjorie Oelrichs. Beaton also claimed to have had an affair with the American actor Gary Cooper, who was a close friend of his for many years.




CECIL BEATON. Audrey Hepburn
 

Involved primarily with form—indeed, the content is seldom the actual personage or garment but the "aura" created by the photographer—fashion and celebrity images were especially quick to relect changes in aesthetic sensibilitv. During the Depression, the cool hermetic elegance of the New Objectivity was challenged in the United States both by the naturalism of small-camera photojournalistic documentation and by the preference for American-made products that prompted editors to avoid what they conceived as aesthetic styles imported from Europe. Also, as a consequence of the search for a wide readership, fashion imagery became more democratic in theme and approach. Ironically, this breath of air was imported; as noted earlier, it was the Hungarian Munkacsi who first applied candid techniques to fashion photography, snapping a bathing-suit model running on a beach. These unstilted images of active, athletic models photographed out-of-doors in natural light established this approach as one of the two poles between which fashion imagery has continually rebounded, the other extreme being the contrived studio shot. The American Toni Frissell was one of a number of fashion photographers who combined natural settings and the casual stances of photojournalism with angled shots and stark silhouettes, exemplified in a 1939 series for Vogue featuring fur garments out-of-doors.

Images that ostensibly explored the landscape of the mind and reflected the prevailing interest in psychoanaly sis and the Surrealist art movement began to appear in fashion work during the 1930s. Horst Peter Horst, a former student of Purist architecture in Paris, devised montages and mirror tricks to confound reality with trompe Voeil settings. Others—including the Londoners Yevonde Cumbers (Madame Yevonde) and Angus McBean, who ordered a Daliesque background to be constructed and painted especially for a portrait of the actress Elsa Lanchester—were directly inspired Surrealist paintings. Besides the well-known Dali, the painters Christian Berard, Giorgio de Chirico, and Yves Tanguy influenced fashion images by the English painter-photographer Peter Rose-Pulham and the Americans Clifford Coffin and George Platt Lynes, for example. Surrealist photographs were a natural offshoot of Beaton's preoccupation with fantasy, while Man Ray, in arranging a couturier beach robe against a backdrop of his own painting entitled Observatory Time—The Lovers for a spread in Harper's Bazaar, came to this languid mix of luxury and desire from the even more irrational precincts of Dadaism. Continued interest in the temporal and spatial confusions of dreams combined during the 1940s with awareness of the war in Europe to give fashion images, as conceived by Erwin Blumenfeld and the American John Rawlings, a macabre aspect. Rawlings, a former director of Vogue's London studio, arranged mirrors to create a sense of undefined time and place suggestive of austerity and even regimentation for a Vogue cover that came out during the second World War in 1944. A multiple image by Blumenfeld, who worked in the United States after his release from a Nazi internment camp, brings to mind the shattering experiences of war and incarceration rather than the seductive fantasies one usually finds in fashion pictures.

In the postwar years, fashion photographers were heir to a wealth of traditions that included New Objectivity, Surrealism, and the documentary mode. They sought to integrate these concepts with the revived taste for luxury, at the same time developing distinctive individual styles. Less elitist than formerly but often more opulent because fashion images were now made largely in color for a readership eager to make up for wartime austerity, the new sensibility is apparent in the work of Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Irving Penn, and Bert Stern, and in the still lifes of Leslie Gill, to name only a small number of those active in the field after the war.



MARTIN MUNKACSI. Lucile Brokaw on the Long Island Beach, 1933.
Reproduced in Harper's Bazaar, December 1934.
Gelatin silver print. Joan Munkacsi, Woodstock, N.Y.


TONI FRISSELL. Boom for Brown Beavers, 1939.
Reproduced in Vogue, August 1, 1939.
Gelatin silver print. Toni Frissell Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

TONI FRISSELL

Toni Frissell, or Antoinette Frissell Bacon, (March 10, 1907 - April 17, 1988) was an American photographer, known for her fashion photography, World War II photographs, portraits of famous Americans and Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life.
Antoinette Frissell was born in 1907 in New York City, New York, but took photos under the name Toni Frissell, even after her marriage to Manhattan socialite McNeil Bacon. She worked with many famous photographers of the day, as an apprentice to Cecil Beaton, and with advice from Edward Steichen. Her initial job, as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1931, was due to Condé Montrose Nast personally. She later took photographs for Harper's Bazaar. Her fashion photos, even of evening gowns and such, were often notable for their outdoor settings, emphasizing active women.

In 1941, Frissell volunteered her photographic services to the American Red Cross. Later she worked for the Eighth Army Air Force and became the official photographer of the Women's Army Corps. On their behalf, she took thousands of images of nurses, front-line soldiers, WACs, African-American airmen, and orphaned children. She traveled to the European front twice. Her moving photographs of military women and African American fighter pilots in the elite 332d Fighter Group (the "Tuskegee Airmen") were used to encourage public support for women and blacks in the service.
In the 1950's, she took informal portraits of the famous and powerful in the United States and Europe, including Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy, and worked for Sports Illustrated and Life magazines. Continuing her interest in active women and sports, she was the first woman on the staff of Sports Illustrated in 1953, and continued to be one of very few female sport photographers for several decades.
In later work she concentrated on photographing women from all walks of life, often as a commentary on the human condition.


TONI FRISSELL. Lady in the Water, 1947




ANGUS McBEAN. Elsa Lanchester, 1938.
Reproduced in The Sketch, June 22, 1938. Gelatin silver print.

ANGUS McBEAN

Angus McBean (June 8, 1904 - June 9, 1990), was a Welsh photographer, associated with surrealism.
McBean was born in Newbridge, Monmouthshire, the son of a coal mine surveyor. He bought his first camera - a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch autographic Kodak - and tripod as World War I was ending. Fascinated by the apparently magical properties of photography, he wanted to be able to take pictures of people and sold a gold watch left to him by his grandfather to raise the five pounds necessary for the equipment.
In 1925, after his father's early death, McBean moved with his mother and younger sister to Acton, London. He worked for Liberty's department store in the antiques department learning restoration, while his personal life was spent in photography, mask-making and watching plays in the West End theatre. In 1932 he left Liberty and grew his distinctive beard to symbolize the fact that he would never be a wage-slave again. The worked as a maker of theatrical prop's, including a commission of medieval scenery for John Gielgud's 1933 production of "Richard of Bordeaux."
McBean's masks became a talking point in social columns, and were much admired by the leading Bond Street photographer Hugh Cecil. Cecil offered McBean an assistant's post at his Mayfair studio, and having learnt the secrets of Cecil's softer style and after using the studio at night, McBean set up his own studio 18months later in a basement in Belgrave Road, Victoria, London.

The artist McBean as he was still known as a mask maker, gained a commission in 1936 from Ivor Novello for masks for his play "The Happy Hypocrite." Novello was so impressed with McBean's romantic photographs that he commissioned him to take a set of production photographs as well, including young actress Vivien Leigh. The results, taken on stage with McBean's idiosyncratic lighting, instantly replaced the set already made by the long-established but stolid Stage Photo Company. McBean had a new career and a photographic leading lady: he was to photograph Vivien Leigh on stage and in the studio for almost every performance she gave until her death thirty years later.
McBean resultantly became one of the most significant portrait photographers of the 20th century, and was known as a photographer of celebrities. In the Spring of 1942 his career was temporarily ruined when he was arrested in Bath for criminal acts of homosexuality. He was sentenced to four years in prison and was released in the autumn of 1944. After the Second World War, McBean was able to successfully resume his career.

There were in effect two periods to McBeans career, his pre and post war phases. Pre war he was a lot more confident in himself and experimented successfully with surrealism, indeed his work with the likes of Vivian Leigh are some of the most accessible surrealist photographic images known. Post war he reverted to a more regular style of portraiture photography, nearly always working with the entertainment and theatre profession.
In 1945, not sure whether he would find work again, McBean set up a new studio in a bomb-damaged building in Endell Street, Covent Garden. He sold his Soho camera for £35, and bought a new half-plate Kodak View monorail camera to which he attached his trusted Zeiss lenses. McBean was commissioned first by the Stratford Memorial Theatre to photograph a production of "Anthony and Cleopatra", and all his former clients quickly returned. Through the late 1940s and 50s he was the official photographer at Stratford, the Royal Opera House, Sadlers Wells, Glyndebourne, the Old Vic and at all the productions of H.M. Tennent, servicing the theatrical, musical and ballet star system. Magazines such as the Daily Sketch and Tatler vied to commission McBean's new series of surreal portraits.
McBean's later works included being the photographer for The Beatles' first album, surrealist work as well as classic photographs of individuals such as Agatha Christie, Audrey Hepburn, Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward. Both periods or his work (pre and post war) are now eagerly sought by collectors and his work sits in many major collections around the world.




ANGUS McBEAN. Dame Margot Fonteyn, 1951


JOHN RAWLINGS. Untitled, 1944. Vogue cover, January 1, 1944.
Halftone reproduction. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York;
Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory. Vogue, New York.
 



644. MAN RAY. Untitled, 1936.
Published in Harper's Bazaar, November, 1936.
Halftone reproduction. New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.


ERWIN BLUMENFELD. What Looks New, 1947.
Reproduced in Vogue, March 15, 1947.
Color (chromogenic development) transparency. Collection Marina Schinz, New York.

ERWIN BLUMENFELD

Richly patterned colors and decor were orchestrated for Harper's Bazaar by Dahl-Wolfe (originally a painter), who rose to prominence on the strength of an impeccable color sense combined with skill in arranging the more naturalistic decor now desired in fashion photography (pi. no. 646). Her task, along with that of others in the field, was made easier by the increase in air travel that enabled photographers to drop themselves and their models virtually anywhere around the globe—on Caribbean beaches and western American deserts, in front of monuments and palaces in North Africa, India, and Europe. Penn (also a trained painter) created elegant confections that often make reference in their arrangements and color schemes to well-known paintings, as in an image featuring model Lisa Fonssagrives taken in an exotic setting in Morocco. Working in similar style but with still-life objects rather than live models, Gill created numerous covers and spreads of uncluttered opulence for Harper's Bazaar over more than a 20-year period beginning in 1935. From the 1960s on, Avedon, whose stated desire was to "never bring the same mental attitude toward the same problem twice"'6 probably had the greatest influence on fashion photography. The style of his own work veered between an early somewhat frenetic naturalism, derived from Munkacsi, and a later taste for highly contrived lighting, pose, and camera angle, as in Donyale Luna in Dress by Paco Rabanne, which appeared in Vogue in December, 1966. This particular treatment of female form and dress has been seen as a reflection of the decade's profound changes in sexual and social mores rather than merely as a search for novelty to attract the jaded eye. Both naturalism and mannerism continued to inspire up-and-coming fashion photographers to frame individualized approaches. Casual documentation ostensibly characterized the fashion style of Diane Arbus, William Klein, and Bob Richardson, while Stern updated the Surrealism of Blumenfeld and the mannerism of Perm with a touch of "pop" culture. In the 1970s, Hiro (born Yasuhiro Wakcbayashi in Shanghai), working in the United States for Vogue, achieved a distinctive amalgam combining athleticism and elegance with his own aesthetic heritage.

Eclipsed by Americans during the war and immediate postwar years, the European fashion world regained its aplomb at the beginning of the 1960s with David Bailey's work in London; by the 1970s, when Paris Vogue featured the work of European newcomers Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, it reflected changing perceptions of women (by men and women themselves). Bourdin's macabre fantasies depict them as graceless, vulnerable, and frenzied while Newton shows them as sexually aggressive yet frigid. These strange visions, photographed in strident color, inspired the French photographer Sarah Moon and the American Deborah Turbeville, but, though still concerned with alienation and uneasiness, both have softened the vision of women as social and sexual predators, in part through the atmospheric backgrounds and muted impressionist color they favor.

One of the developments of the 1980s is the attention paid male fashion by both manufacturers and the fashion industry, but it is doubtful whether this new thrust will forestall the problems faced by arbiters of fashion as the democratization of this once elitist interest continued in Europe as well as the United States. With a broad range of styles offering a heterogeneous public many choices of how to look, prominent fashion photographers found themselves with greater freedom to choose models, styles, decor, and ambience and even to suggest how their work be used in publication. At the same time, however, as fashion images also are collected and studied as aesthetic artifacts, photographers in this field have been compedng with a wider spectrum of image-makers for a place on gallery and museum walls and in the critical sun, as well as on the printed page.

"The transformation of everything into images" has had an unsetding effect on perception, as Roland Barthes noted in Camera Lucida, The omnipresent photograph may not have served to "de-realize the human world of conflicts and desires" to the extent this author suggests, but there is no question that it has affected responses to pain, suffering, and pleasure in real lite, making these facets of human experience seem somehow commonplace, less intensely felt, and less urgent. Advertising photography in particular has promoted a continuous search for pictorial novelty; while this emphasis may be of value in selling products in consumer-oriented societies, it is open to question as an end in itself in creative expression. The fact that commercial photographs may be seen only subliminally, with the message registered but the relationship of forms and the disposition of light unremarked, has influenced the casual way in which the public approaches expressive camera images in general. Conversely, it also is true that the prevalence of the photographic image in print, whether in advertising or journalism, has made the public more willing to accept camera images in all their guises and has led to a more sophisticated appreciation of them, providing readers for books on photography, viewers for exhibitions, and collectors for individual works.


LOUISE DAHL-WOLFE. The Covert Look, I949.
Reproduced in Harper's Bazaar, August, 1949.
Color (chromogenic development) transparency.
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; Edward C. Blum Design Laboratory.

LOUISE DAHL-WOLFE

Louise Emma Augusta Dahl (November 19, 1895 in San Francisco, California – December 11, 1989) was a photographer, known primarily for her work for Harper's Bazaar with fashion editor Diana Vreeland.
Born to Norwegian parents, Dahl-Wolfe was known for taking photographs outdoors, with natural light in distant locations from South America to Africa in what became known as "environmental" fashion photography. She married sculptor Meyer Wolfe, who constructed the backgrounds of many of her photos.
She preferred portraiture to fashion photography. Notable portraits include: Mae West, Cecil Beaton, Eudora Welty, W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Orson Welles, Carson McCullers, Edward Hopper, Colette and Josephine Baker. She is known for having "discovered" a teenage Lauren Bacall. She was a great influence on photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. One of her assistants was Milton H. Greene.


HIRO. Fabric, Harper's Bazaar, February. 1967.
Color (chromogenic development) transparency.



SARAH MOON. Faces, 1973. Reproduced in French Vqaue, February, 1973.
Color (chromogenic development) transparency. Courtesy the artist.

SARAH MOON

Born in England in 1940.

Studied drawing. Between 1960 and 1966: worked as a model in London and Paris. Since 1967: fashion photographer and publicity filmmaker.
Works in illustration, fashion and still life, in black and white and color. Lives in Paris.


IRVING PENN. Woman in Moroccan Palace (Lisa Fonssagrives), Morocco, 1951.
Gelatin silver print. Vogue, New York.

IRVING PENN

Irving Penn (born 16 June 1917) is an American photographer known for his portraiture and fashion photography.
Irving Penn studied under Alexey Brodovitch at the Philadelphia Museum School from which he graduated in 1938. Penn's drawings were published by Harper's Bazaar and he also painted. As his career in photography blossomed, he became known for post World War II feminine chic and glamour photography.
Penn has worked for many years doing fashion photography for Vogue magazine. He was among the first photographers to pose subjects against a simple grey or white backdrop and used this simplicity more effectively than other photographers. Expanding his austere studio surroundings, Penn constructed a set of upright angled backdrops, to form a stark, acute corner. Posing his subjects within this tight, unorthodox space, Penn brought an unprecedented sense of drama to his portraits, driving the viewer's focus onto the person and their expression. In many photos, the subjects appeared wedged into the corner. Subjects photographed with this technique included Martha Graham, Marcel Duchamp, Georgia O'Keeffe, W. H. Auden, Igor Stravinsky and Marlene Dietrich.
While a master of the studio flash, most of Penn's portraits are lighted with window light. For travelling to New Guinea and other locations to photograph indigenous people, Penn created a portable studio with a skylight deployed facing north with impressive results. These pictures had the same feel as his portraits of celebrities; fully adorned, naturally lighted, yet placed before the neutral backdrop, his tribal subjects appear as strangely defined models for a 19-century ethnographic investigation.
In 1950, Penn married his favorite model, Lisa Fonssagrives and he founded his studio in 1953. They have one son together, who is named Tom.
Clarity, composition, careful arrangement of objects or people, form, and the use of light characterize Penn's work. Penn also photographs still life objects and found objects in unusual arrangements with great detail and clarity.
While his prints are always clean and clear, Penn's subjects vary widely. Many times his photographs are so ahead of their time that they only came to be appreciated as important works in the modernist canon years after their creation. For example, a series of posed nudes whose physical shapes range from thin to plump were shot in 1949-1950, but were not exhibited until 1980.
His still life compositions are skilfully arranged assemblages of food or objects; at once spare and highly organized, the objects are raised to a graphic perfection, articulating the abstract interplay of line and volume.
He has published numerous books including the recent, "A Notebook at Random" which offers a generous selection of photographs, paintings, and documents of his working methods. Penn's wife, Lisa Fonssagrives, died in 1992.


LESLIE GILL. Chocolate Pot and Apples I, 1950.
Gelatin silver print.



RICHARD AVEDON. Donyale Luna in Dress by Paco Rabanne, New York Studio, January, 1966.
Gelatin silver print.


DEBORAH TURBEVILLE. Terry Covering, 1975.
Gelatin silver print. Vogue, New York.

DEBORAH TURBEVILLE

Born and raised in New England, Deborah Turbeville moved to New York at the age of twenty to work for designer Claire McCardell and later became an editor for Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle before turning to photography.
Her editorial work appears regularly in such publications as American, British, French, Italian, and Russian Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, Zoom, and W. Turbeville’s photographic essays in 2004 have included "Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico" (Casa, July 2004), "Russian Soul” (Harper’s Bazaar, December 2004), "Julia Roberts” (The New York Times Magazine, November 14, 2004), and "Ritual Fashion” (BlackBook, December 2004/January 2005). Monographs of her work include Wallflower (1978), Newport Remembered (1994) and Studio St. Petersburg (1997). Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums, both nationally and internationally.
Turbeville's distinctively evocative style was recognized by the Fashion Group Lifetime Award for Fashion Photography in 1989 and the Alfred Eisenstadt Award for Magazine Photography for the Fashion Single Image and Photo Essay in 1998. In 2002, Turbeville received a Fulbright scholarship for a lecture series in photography at the Baltic School of Photography in St. Petersburg, Russia; this year she will be teaching at Smolney Institut in that city, on behalf of Bard College. She divides her time between New York, Mexico, and Russia.

 

Edward Steichen

In the range and quality of his production in the fashion and advertising fields, Edward Steichen might be said to embody the development of utilitarian photography in the 20th century. Steichen was engaged with much that was vital and new in the medium during the 20th century, from a beginning as a Pictorialist photographer through activities in the commercial sector to a position as director of the most prestigious museum photography department in the United States (at the Museum of Modern Art). As a creative individual, as a designer of exhibitions and periodicals, as a director of projects, he left an unmistakable imprint on the photographic trends of his time.

Born Eduard Steichen, in Luxembourg in 1879, he was brought to the United States as an infant. When he displayed artistic ability he was apprenticed after 1894 to a firm of lithographers in Milwaukee; he both painted and photographed, submitting to Pictorialist salons during the 1890s. Clarence H. White noticed him in 1900 and soon after brought him to the attention of Stieglitz, with whom he shortly began to collaborate on the installations for the gallery 291 and on the founding of Camera Work, for which he designed the first cover and the initial publicity. Still not entirely committed to photography, Steichen spent the greater part of the period before the first World War painting in France. There his knowledge of Symbolism, Expressionism, and Cubism enabled him to direct Stieglitz's attention to these significant art movements. Besides paintings (nearly all of which he later destroyed), Steichen made sensitive photographs in the Symbolist style of landscapes, genre scenes, and New York cityscapes and perceptive portraits of wealthy and creative individuals in Paris and New York during this period. As part of the active New York art scene of the time, he was portrayed photographing Marcel Duchamp in Sunday Afternoon in the Country a 1917 oil by Florine Stettheimer. Other photographers included in the painted scene arc Arnold Genthe and Baron de Meyer.

Steichcn's experiences as director of aerial photography for the Allied Forces during World War I, followed by a period of several years of photographic experimentation based on his interest in the theory of dynamic symmetry, enabled him to shed the vestiges of his Pictorialist sensibility' and open himself up to modernist ideas. In his position with Conde Nast from 1923 and also as a free-lance advertising photographer, he explored the vocabulary of the New Objectivity during the 1920s in order to create ingenious advertising and fashion images in what was still a relatively fresh field. This phase of Steichen's career, which he brought to an end in 1937 when he realized that commercial work was no longer personally stimulating, prepared him to embrace a broader concept of photography and to assume a role as administrator. Although not himself involved in photoreportage or the documentary movement, by the late 1930s he was convinced that the fine quality of work produced by photographers working for the Farm Security Administration and for Life had effectively erased aesthetic distinctions among images made as personal expression, as photojournalism, or as social commentary.

In 1947, after serving as director of Naval Combat Photography during World War II, Steichen accepted the directorship of the Department of Photography of the Museum of Modern Art. His purpose, he said, was to make sure that what he called the "aliveness in the melting pot of American photography" and "the restless seekings, probing aspirations and experiments of younger photogra-phers"38 would be represented in the museum collection. During his tenure, which lasted until 1962, he organized and promoted exhibitions, wrote numerous articles, helped publish books on the medium, and was instrumental in making photographic images acceptable in a museum setting. In 1955, Steichen organized The Family of Man exhibition and catalog, which he considered the culmination of his career. He believed that this show promoted photography as "a tool for penetrating beneath the surface of things" and that it proved that journalistic photographs had their own aesthetic forms. Long before he died in 1973, he was recognized as one of the small group of individuals whose ideas, energy, and images had helped shape photography in the 20th century.


653. FLORINE STETTHEIMER. Sunday Afternoon in the Country, 1917.
Oil on canvas. Cleveland Museum of An, Cleveland, Ohio; gift of Ettic Stettheimer.

W. Eugene Smith

A strong sense of compassion made W. Eugene Smith a legend in his own time. Whatever the circumstances and settings of his assignments—and the range of those assignments was broad—he thought of his camera as an extension of his conscience and his images as reflections of his need to get to the heart of the matter. Following a semester as a student at the University of Notre Dame, Smith came to New York City in 1937 at a time when photoreportage was changing the nature of magazine journalism and providing unparalleled opportunities for young photographers. Immediately successful, his early work showed such skillfulness that within two years Smith, though only nineteen years old, found himself on part-time contract to Life magazine.

Demanding of himself as well as others, Smith at first found many assignments trivial, but he continued to cover domestic events for Life, and later Collier's and Parade. As the war expanded to involve the United States, he felt impelled toward the field of conflict in the South Pacific, where he went in 1943 on an assignment for Flying magazine. Eventually he returned to this front, sent bv Life to cover the action on the Pacific islands. Involvement on the field of battle changed Smith's understanding of war and influenced his photographic style, moving him to compose his images as if sharing the same emotionally charged space as his subjects. Compulsively driven to partake of the reality of combat, he was seriously wounded in Okinawa in 1945.

Smith's continued advocacy of the moral responsibility of the photojournalist prompted him to join the Photo League after World War II, and to accept its presidency in 1949. He also rejoined the staff of Life in 1946 in an effort to have his images reach as wide an audience as possible. Despite ongoing battles over deadlines, picture size, layout, and captioning, more than 50 of his essays were used between 1946 and 1952, among them the memorable "Spanish Village", "Country Doctor," and "Nurse Midwife." Smith resigned permanently in 1954 when he realized that he could not alter publication policies that denied the photographer a voice in the final appearance and meaning of the published photo essay.

In the following years, Smith took on a variety of photojournalistic projects that gave him freedom to develop his craft and ideas. Although their free-lance nature meant that his income was irregular, his work of this period enabled him to explore the photo essay form more profoundly in order to "force the genre in an epic poetic mode." Works that exemplify this ambitious concept include an extensive essay on Pittsburgh published in Popular Pborography Annual, 1959, under the title "A Labyrinthine Walk" {part of this work also appeared in the book mentioned earlier on that city by Lorant), and a lyrical story entitled "As from My Window I Sometimes Glance," which evokes the tempo of urban life as it is affected by changing seasons, weather, atmosphere, and mood. A project undertaken by the photographer and his second wire from 1971 to 1975 in Minamata, Japan, reveals die agonizing human price of industrial pollution. It includes an image that recalls Michelangelo's Pieta (pi. no. 475) and represents Smith's culminating endeavor to use photography to "right what is wrong."


W. EUGENE SMITH. Spanish Village, April 9, 1951.
Issue of Life Magazine. From halftone reproductions. Designer: Bernard Quint. Life Magazine



W. EUGENE SMITH. Spanish Village, April 9, 1951.
Issue of Life Magazine. From halftone reproductions.
Designer: Bernard Quint. Life Magazine



W. EUGENE SMITH. Spanish Village, April 9, 1951. Issue of Life Magazine. From halftone reproductions.
Designer: Bernard Quint. Life Magazine



W. EUGENE SMITH. Spanish Village, April 9, 1951.
Issue of Life Magazine. From halftone reproductions. Designer: Bernard Quint. Life Magazine



W. EUGENE SMITH. Spanish Village, April 9, 1951.
Issue of Life Magazine. From halftone reproductions. Designer: Bernard Quint. Life Magazine

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Called "equivocal, ambivalent and accidental" when first exhibited at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1933, the work of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson has come to be regarded as one of the seminal visions of the 20th century. After studying painting for a number of years, including a year with Andre Lhote, Cartier-Bresson began to photograph with a Leica around 1930, soon revealing a remarkable ability to create images that invest moments in time with enduring mystery or humor. Throughout a career of some 35 years, he consistently upheld the primacy of individuality and spontaneity in the photographic process, maintaining that "you have to be yourself and you have to forget yourself in order to discover the exact instant and position from which the photographer might be able to extract a moment of meaning from ongoing existence.

Commissions from Harper's Bazaar and Vu in 1932 started Cartier-Bresson in photojournalism. Convinced of the constraints of preconception, he approached actuality with an intuitive sense for forms ripe with emblematic significance and an eye for precise visual organization. Although he has often avowed that his way of working is unlearnable, he also has acknowledged the influence on his ideas of the early journalistic images by Kertcsz, Munkacsi, and Umbo, all of whom shared a similar capacity' to give photographic form and structure to evanescent moments of human experience. For example, the disparities of scale and the seemingly irrational juxtapositions of forms in images made in Spain in 1933, among them Arena, Valencia, Spain, suggest the uneasy tensions that eventually erupted into civil war, even though their intent was poetic rather than political. During the 1930s, he photo-graphed in Mexico and the United States, seeking not only the momentary action framed in the viewfinder of the camera but some essential truth about the larger society of which it was a part. Carder-Bresson approached portraiture in the same way, contending that in the transient expressions of the many figures in the arts whom he photo-graphed during the 1940s in the United States and France can be found the key to their individual personalities.

Cartier-Bresson also studied film technique, working with Strand in the United States and with Jean Renoir in France. In 1937, for Frontier Films, he produced Return to Life, a film about the deliver of medical aid to Spanish Loyalists, and in 1945, after his own escape from 36 months of captivity as a German prisoner-of-war, he made the film Le Retour about the return of French soldiers and prisoners to their homeland. Following a retrospective exhibition of his still photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in 1946, and the founding a year later of the collaborative agency Magnum, Cartier-Bresson embarked on indefatigable travels in Europe, Asia, and the Americas to make photographs. He published the results in scores of magazine articles and more than a dozen books, including D'Une Chine a l'Autre (China in Transition) (1954), Moscou (The People of Moscow) (1955), and Visage d'Asie (Tace of Asia) (1972). While the photographer insists that he is not interested in documenting particular peoples and events but in evoking universal dreams and intuitions, he has drawn nourishment from the political and social contingencies of the events he has witnessed and at the same time affirmed the vitality and intensity of life everywhere. His ideas have had a profound influence on several generations of younger photographers, a number of whom have trans-formed his concepts into personal styles that encompass their own expressive goals.



HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON. Brussels, 1932.
 


HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON. Arena, Valencia, Spain, 1933.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
CONTENTS
  BACK NEXT