Paul Outerbridge, Jr. (1896–1958)
was an American photographer noted for early use and experiments in
color photography. Outerbridge was a fashion and commercial
photographer, an early pioneer and teacher of color photography, and
an artist who created erotic nudes photographs that could not be
exibited in his lifetime.
Outerbridge, while still in his
teens, worked as an illustrator and theatrical designer designing
stage settings and lighting schemes. After an accident caused his
discharge from the Royal Canadian Naval Air Service, in 1917, he
enlisted in the U.S. Army where he did his first photography work.
In 1921, Outerbridge enrolled in the Clarence H. White school of
photography at Columbia University. Within a year his work began
being reproduced in Vanity Fair and Vogue magazine.
In London, in 1925, the Royal
Photographic Society invited Outerbridge to exhibit in a one-man
show. Outerbridge then traveled to Paris and became friends with
surrealist artists, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Berenice Abbott. In
Paris, Outerbridge did a layout for the French Vogue magazine, met
and worked with Edward Steichen, and built the largest, most
completely equipped advertising photography studio of the times. In
1929, 12 of Outerbridge's photographs were included in the
prestigious, German Film und Foto exhibition.
Returning to New York in 1929,
Outerbridge opened a studio doing commercial and artistic work and
began writing a monthly column on color photography for the U.S.
Camera Magazine. Outerbridge worked in tri-color carbro process. In
1937, Outerbridge's photographs were included in an exhibit at the
Museum of Modern Art and, in 1940, Outerbridge published his seminal
book, Photographing in Color, using high quality illustrations to
explain his techniques. A scandal over his shocking, full-color
erotic nude photography, led to Outerbridge retiring as a commercial
photographer and moving to Hollywood in 1943, although he continued
to contribute photo stories to magazines and write his monthly
column. In 1945, Outerbridge married fashion designer Lois Weir and
worked in their joint fashion company, Lois-Paul Originals.
One year after his death,
Smithsonian Institution staged a one-man show of Outerbridge's
photographs in 1959. Although his reputation has faded, revivals of
Outerbridge's photography in 1970s and 1990s has periodically
brought him into contemporary public knowledge.
Triumph of the Egg
Images de Deauville
Nude with bandleader's jacket
Nude with mask and hat
Party-mask with Shells
Woman with claws
Woman with snake
Tools with Blueprint
House Under Construction
Nude on a ladder
42nd Street Elevated
Cheese and Crackers
Toy Display (Circus)
Untitled , circa 1925
William Current and His First Wife
Glass bowl, chopping block and pan