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Article

(b Lyon, July 12, 1897; d Nice, Feb 23, 1984).

French photographer. In 1914 he immigrated with his family to the USA, where his father worked in a silk mill. There he studied silk design by day and art, mainly painting, by night until he became interested in photography, which he studied under Emil Brunel at the New York Institute of Photography in 1916. He was impressed by the work of Edward Steichen, among others, and became a friend of his assistant Harvey White. After various menial jobs, he worked as a portrait photographer for Bachrach Studios from 1922 to 1928 in Baltimore, MD, although he also produced several official portraits in Washington, DC, including some of the Coolidge family. In 1927 he also studied portraiture under the painter Carlos Baca-Flor in New York. In 1928 he moved to Paris, intending to work as a fashion photographer, and met Man Ray, who taught him the technique of solarization. He also became a friend of René Magritte and the French Surrealist writer Phillipe Soupault (...

Article

Margaret Barlow

(b Los Angeles, Dec 7, 1923; d Baarlo, March 15, 2009).

American sculptor, photographer and film maker, active in the Netherlands. Born of Japanese parents, he received his first training in sculpture from the American sculptor Donal Hord (1902–66) in 1941. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor (on his 18th birthday) his family was sent to an internment camp, an experience that left scars more intense than his war wounds. To escape the camp, he joined a brother in the US army, and after demobilization he worked as an antiques restorer and from 1947 to 1948 studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to Paris in 1948 where he studied under Ossip Zadkine and in 1949 under Fernand Léger. In the latter year he came into contact with the Cobra group and exhibited with them at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In 1950 he was one of the co-founders of the Galerie 8 in Paris and also studied at the Académie de la Grand Chaumière. Also in ...

Article

Kelli Morgan

(b Camden, NJ, 1971).

American photographer, painter, and film maker.

Thomas received her BFA from the Pratt Institute in 2000 and her MFA from the Yale University School of Art in 2002. Following her graduate training she completed residencies at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France. She is best known for monumental photographs and paintings that fuse the aesthetics of 1970s styled domestic interiors, Blaxploitation film, Black Power ideologies, and Western portraiture. Explicitly feminist, Thomas’s imagery interweaves set and costume design, photography, collage, painting, and rhinestone ornamentation to explore the visual textures of Black women’s identities by illuminating the plasticity of concepts such as beauty, femininity, sexuality, subjectivity, and power. This thematic approach firmly situates Thomas within the lineage of Black feminist artists such as Faith Ringgold, Saar family, §1, Carrie Mae Weems, and Lorna Simpson, and among such contemporaries as Renee Cox, Kara Walker...

Article

Lelia Delgado

(b Caracas, 1879; d 1955).

Venezuelan photographer. He photographed the most important political events in Venezuela in the first half of the 20th century. Toro’s work appeared in such major newspapers and publications of the period as El nuevo diario, El cojo ilustrado and Billiken. Aside from his official photography, he was an alert observer of changes in the city of Caracas, and was an exceptional portrait photographer. Much of his work is housed in the Consejo Municipal de Caracas....

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Brooklyn, NY, Nov 24, 1940).

American photographer. He studied painting and art history at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (1958–62), but by the mid-1960s was committed to photography. His first published work, for anthropological journals, resulted from travels in Mexico, Japan, India, Europe, Alaska and Africa. In 1971 a more personal direction was demonstrated in his portfolio Open Space in the Inner City, which pictures the inhabitants of New York in the squalor and decay of their environment. His first acclaimed book, The Dream Collector (Richmond, VA, 1972), consists of re-enactments of children’s dreams, showing elements of fantasy and the grotesque that he has continued to explore. In his later work he concentrated on theatrical and psychologically revealing studies of human relationships, for example in Theater of the Mind (New York, 1976), on homo-erotic fantasy in Facing Up (New York, 1980) and on the ritualistic aspects of contemporary life. His still-lifes and two major sequences, ...

Article

Aileen June Wang

(b Hong Kong, 1950; d New York, March 10, 1990).

Chinese–American performance artist and photographer. Tseng grew up in Hong Kong, but immigrated to Canada with his family in 1966. He attended two years of university there before studying art in Paris from 1970 to 1974 at the Ecole Superior d’Arts Graphiques and the Académie Julian. He inherited an interest in photography from his father, who frequently photographed his family with a camera acquired while he was in the Nationalist Army. Experiences as a Chinese living abroad inspired Tseng’s East Meets West project, which defined his career from 1979 until his death from AIDS in 1990. The series of photographs examined the significance of tourist attractions as signs of nation and power, the intersection of local and visitor at these sites and the reception of the Chinese as the cultural other.

Tseng met Keith Haring after settling in Manhattan’s East Village in 1978 and the two became close friends and collaborators. He photographed Haring in the act of painting in his studio, the subway and other public venues, producing more than 40,000 images (Keith Haring Documentary Archives, Tseng Kwong Chi Estate). Both artists believed that the process of making art was like a performance and contributed to the meaning of the work. This perspective informed Tseng’s ...

Article

Celia Stahr

(b Phoenix, AZ, Aug 26, 1954).

Native American (Seminole–Muskogee–Diné (Navajo)) photographer, video and installation artist . While living on a Navajo reservation in the 1960s, Tsinhnahjinnie was prompted to think about the power of images after looking at A House of Human Bondage, which showed the poor living conditions that black South Africans were subjected to under the apartheid system, photographs that reminded her of the bleak existence of Native Americans. This led her to attend the Institute of American Indian Art from 1975 to 1978. She received a BFA from the California College of the Arts (1981) and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine (2002). She went on to teach at the University of California, Davis.

Realizing that Native Americans had been defined by photographs taken by non-Natives, Tsinhnahjinnie wanted to create photographs of Native Americans from an insider’s perspective; to reclaim her own culture, history and identity. In 1988...

Article

Susan Kart

(b Kaduna, Aug 15, 1967).

Nigerian multimedia artist, active in the USA. Tuggar studied in London before receiving her BFA from Kansas City Art Institute. She completed her MFA at Yale University. Tuggar’s work has been seen as central to the ‘Afro-Futurist’ style and theoretical impulse that gained currency in the mid-1990s as well as to a revitalized and globalized feminist discourse. Afro-futurism denotes the use of the historical past in conjunction with technological innovation to produce aesthetic explorations of the future, fantasy, and possibility for African cultures writ large.

Tuggar is best known for her digitally manipulated and printed collages of her own photographs with found images and text. Often she combined older, sometimes historical images with contemporary scenes and people, conflating past and present and thereby constructing the fantasy aspect of her work. In other instances disparate global spaces converge (Nigeria, the cultural ‘West’, the Middle East), setting up a contemporary investigation of colonialism and post-colonial global realities....

Article

Chika Okeke

(b Lagos, 1965).

Nigerian photographer, painter and installation artist , active in the USA. He attended Hunter College, City University of New York. In the 1980s he worked mainly as a painter but also collaborated with such New York artists as Carrie May Weems and Lyle Ashton Harris. In 1993 he developed his photographic work, dealing with issues of representation and urban life, particularly race, gender and sexual identity. His self-portraits, in which he wears women’s cosmetics, comment on assumptions about what constitutes gender identity, as in Woman in Egyptian Art (1996). They also reference the costume and make-up of Igbo ‘female’ masquerades, which are normally danced by men ( see Igbo §2 ). He also uses self-portraiture to criticize American culture. In his Cover Girl series (1994–9), for instance, he designed mock magazine covers for Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Condé Naste Traveller, making himself the cover girl. The ‘articles’ in these imaginary journals frequently address the West’s relation to Africa, for example, ‘Hysteria Over the Death of the Noble Savage’. Thus the ...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Detroit, MI, June 11, 1934).

American photographer. He studied photography with Ralph Hattersley (1886–1971) and Minor White at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, from 1953 to 1957, and with Henry Holmes Smith (1909–86) at Indiana University Graduate School, Bloomington, from 1958 to 1960. From 1960 he taught photography at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and in 1962 he was a co-founder of the Friends of Photography in Carmel, occasionally taking an administrative role. Uelsmann’s photography deals with fictions and visions that are close to the imagery of René Magritte; his photograph Magritte’s Touchstone (1965; see Uelsmann, 1975) depicts the head of a woman asleep in a field, with a rock mysteriously hanging in the sky above her. By combining several negatives to make one picture he confronted various levels of reality; in works such as Rock Tree (1969; see Uelsmann, 1975), the foreground ambiguously reads as either a reflection in a pool of the hybrid tree, or a cross-section of the roots below, cryptically playing on the perception of reality and its depiction....

Article

Erika Billeter

(b New York, May 29, 1882; d New York, Aug 28, 1934).

American photographer. She studied at Columbia University, New York, but did not take up photography until 1914, when she studied it with Clarence H. White. She became his best pupil and then worked for several years as a portrait photographer, concentrating on professional people in New York. Around 1925 her attitude towards photography changed: she wished to become involved with social affairs and began to travel around the country—particularly the Appalachian region—in order to photograph the less privileged classes and to give an impression of their character and circumstances. She showed particular interest in highlighting the problems of black people, photographing them most memorably in South Carolina. Despite this, her photographic work is not documentary. The people pose in front of the camera, and in this respect her work still belonged to the ‘pictorialist tradition’ of an earlier generation.

Ulmann, Doris A Portrait Gallery of American Editors (New York, 1925)...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Lenox, MA, June 29, 1886; d Washington, DC, May 15, 1983).

American photographer. America’s first eminent black photographer, he lived in Harlem, New York, and there in 1916 opened his own photographic studio, Guarantee Photos (later called GGG Photo Studio), which he ran until 1968. He worked on commission as a photo-reporter and as a portrait and society photographer. In his work he sought to uncover glamour in Harlem, the cultural capital of black America, picturing it not as a ghetto but as a characterful part of the city. He succeeded in producing a cumulative view of the social structure of Harlem during the 1920s and 1930s; however romanticized, his photographs form an important historical archive, which is now kept at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Van Der Zee, James The World of James Van Der Zee: A Visual Record of Black Americans (New York, 1969) The Legacy of James Van Der Zee: A Portrait of Black Americans...

Article

James Smalls

(b Cedar Rapids, IA, June 17, 1880; d New York, Dec 21, 1964).

American patron and photographer. He began his career as a music and theatre critic, and as a novelist of light fiction. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1906, he joined the staff of the New York Times as an assistant music critic and soon gained prominence within the worlds of music, theatre, and the performing arts. In 1932 Van Vechten gave up these activities and became a full-time amateur photographer. As a well-connected patron of the arts and letters, Van Vecthen gave African American writers their first break by introducing them and their work to key individuals in the white-operated world of publishing. He became an invaluable asset in this regard to authors such as Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, and Zora Neale Hurston. He also assisted the African American artist Aaron Douglas in securing commissions of graphic designs for various magazines and authored books. Later in life, Douglas publicly acknowledged Van Vechten’s importance in getting the artist started in his career as an artist....

Article

Susan Fisher Sterling

(b Rio de Janeiro, Nov 11, 1964).

Brazilian painter and photographer. Her works follow an international tendency in early 21st-century art to focus on the body and its politics. In the 1990s Varejão appropriated and remapped a large corpus of Portuguese and Dutch Baroque images and artefacts disseminated during the colonization of Brazil, in order to confront a history of violence and domination, resistance and displacement. Re-using images from old maps, Portuguese azulejos (tin-glazed tiles), Chinese import porcelains, historical scenes by European artists, portraits and early travelogues and colonial histories, Varejão linked the colonial discovery of the New World to the subjugation of indigenous people and the creation of slavery and a global trade empire. This approach reveals ‘the historical molding of the body by religion, by the violent and amorous encounters in the formational process of America, by the politics of gender in regard to women, by the lessons of anatomy from scientific knowledge and art’ (see Herkenhoff, p. 4)....

Article

Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(b Basle, April 12, 1946).

Swiss photographer. He studied photography at the Gewerbeschule, Basle (1964–7). After being apprenticed to American photographer Will McBride (1931–2015) in Munich, he opened his own studio in Basle in 1970. From 1972 he worked for various magazines, such as Du, Camera, Time-Life and Playboy. His photographs were created in clearly defined phases, such as his ‘blue period’ with tinted prints (1973–5) or the ‘frame’ series (1975) of photographs in which a rectangular frame photographed inside the field of view became the parameter for a picture within a picture (e.g. Without Title, 1975; Basle, Antikenmus.). His best-known series of erotic self-presentations of women, with a wooden crate as a prop (1979–81), explored a similar principle. His photographs often implied reflections on the photograph itself, on its subject, its selection and the relationship between what was shown and what was left out....

Article

Heather A. Shannon

(b La Salle, IL, April 15, 1856; d Altadena, CA, July 24, 1916).

American photographer and bookstore owner. In 1872 Vroman left home and in 1874 began working for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad. In 1892 he acquired his first camera and began making landscape views around Rockford, IL. In the same year he married and moved to Pasadena, CA. Shortly after his wife’s death in 1894, Vroman and a business partner opened the bookstore Glasscock & Vroman; from 1901 to his death in 1916 he was the sole proprietor of Vroman’s. In addition to books, stationery, and leather goods, the store stocked Kodak products and other photography supplies. Although recognized for his California photographs of the Franciscan missions and of the sites associated with Helen Hunt Jackson’s popular 1884 novel Ramona, Vroman has become best known for his Arizona and New Mexico photography. During his first trip to the Southwest in 1895, he travelled to north-eastern Arizona to photograph the Hopi Indian Snake Dance and the Petrified Forest. From ...

Article

David Karel

(b Listowel, Ont., May 12, 1858; d Sainte-Pétronille, Que., Sept 27, 1938).

Canadian painter and photographer. As a boy he displayed an aptitude for drawing animals and portraits. From 1873 to 1876 he was an apprentice photographer at the Notman–Fraser Studio, Toronto, and also studied drawing and painting with Robert F. Gagen (1848–1926). In 1876 he settled in Rochester, NY, working initially as a photographer. In 1877 he made a sketching tour in Quebec, visiting the Ile d’Orléans, on the St Lawrence River. From May to November 1880 he walked from Montreal to Quebec, marking the beginning of his close rapport with rural French Canadians. He also did some etching during this period, a technique he had learnt from F. Seymour Haden.

After visiting Europe in 1881, Walker’s style was influenced by Jean-François Millet; he was widely acclaimed as ‘the American Millet’ during his lifetime ( see fig. ). Other influences included Anton Mauve, Jacob and Willem Maris and Albert Pinkham Ryder, with whom he was acquainted....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Vancouver, Sept 29, 1946).

Canadian photographer. After studying Fine Art at the University of British Columbia in the 1960s, Wall undertook a research degree in art history at the Courtauld Institute in London (1970–73). Returning to Vancouver in 1974, he began making the light-box mounted transparencies that became his signature works. The large, back-lit transparencies that Wall produced through the 1980s and 1990s explore contemporary Canadian life through the filter of a background in art history. Although staged around his native Vancouver, they contain numerous references to historical imagery. These works are characterized by their highly detailed, seamless construction as well as a feeling of unease, often grotesque discomfort. Picture for Women (1979) was an early statement of his intention to create contemporary equivalents for the powerful images of modern life painted in late 19th-century France by artists such as Edouard Manet and Gustave Caillebotte. By reference to Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergère...

Article

Sarah Kate Gillespie

(b Trenton, NJ, 1820/21; d Monrovia, June 7, 1875).

American photographer, active also in Liberia. One of the few African American daguerreotypists whose career has been documented by modern scholars, Washington was born in Trenton, NJ, as the son of a former slave. He became interested in the abolitionist movement at an early age, and worked hard to achieve an education, first studying at the Oneida Institute and later at Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, NH. Washington attended Dartmouth College in 1843 and learned daguerreotyping during his freshman year as a way to help pay for his schooling. He left Dartmouth in 1844 and moved to Hartford, CT, where he opened one of the city’s first daguerreotype studios two years later. By the early 1850s Washington was one of the premiere daguerreotypists in Hartford, catering to a broad and fairly élite clientele. One of his best-known portraits from this period dates from 1846–7, and is the earliest surviving photograph of abolitionist John Brown (daguerreotype; Washington, DC, N. P. G.). Brown is pictured holding a flag, possibly for the ‘Subterranean Pass Way’ (Brown’s version of the underground railroad), in one hand; the other hand raised as if taking a pledge. Despite Washington’s success, he remained wary of race relations in the United States, unconvinced that emancipation would lead to improved circumstances for blacks living in the United States. Closing his studio in Hartford, Washington immigrated to Liberia with his wife and two children in ...