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Martha Schwendener

[Ben Youseph Nathan, Esther Zeghdda]

(b London, Nov 21, 1869; d Brooklyn, NY, Nov 27, 1933).

American photographer. Born Esther Zeghdda Ben Youseph Nathan to a German mother and an Algerian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1895. She worked as a milliner in New York before opening a photographic portrait studio in 1897. Her ‘gallery of illustrious Americans’ featured actresses, politicians, and fashionable socialites, including President Theodore Roosevelt, author Edith Wharton, artist William Merritt Chase, and actress Julia Marlowe. Ben-Yusuf also created Pictorialist-inspired artwork like The Odor of Pomegranates (1899; see fig.), an allegory informed by the myth of Persephone and the idea of the pomegranate as a tantalizing but odourless fruit. Ben-Yusuf was included in an exhibition organized by the Linked Ring, Brotherhood of the in London in 1896 and continued to exhibit in the group’s annual exhibitions until 1902. Her photographs were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in 1898 and at the Camera Club of New York in ...


Camara Dia Holloway

[Smikle, David Edward]

(b Queens, NY, Nov 25, 1953).

African American photographer. Bey was born and raised in the neighborhood of Jamaica, in Queens, New York City. His interest in photography was cemented by viewing the now infamous exhibition, Harlem on My Mind, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969. He studied at the School of Visual Arts during 1976–8, later earning his BFA from Empire State College, State University of New York in 1990, followed by his MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1993.

Bey launched his career in 1975 with the Harlem, USA series, following in the footsteps of street photographers who found the predominantly African American community a compelling subject. This series of black-and-white portraits became the subject of Bey’s first solo exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979.

During the 1980s, Bey continued making portraits expanding his terrain beyond Harlem. Sensitive to the politics of representing African Americans, he developed strategies to equalize the photographic encounter. Bey began using a large-format view camera on a tripod that he set up in the street. He established a dialogue with his sitters and gifted them with a print of their portrait. This was facilitated by his discovery of 4×5 Polaroid positive/negative Type 55 film that yielded virtually instant prints....


Sheryl Conkelton

(b Frankfurt am Main, March 23, 1899; d New York, March 10, 1998).

German photographer, active in France and the USA. Self-taught, Bing used the small-format Leica camera for most of her career, earning the nickname ‘Queen of the Leica’. She began her career producing photographic essays for German magazines in the 1920s. Inspired by the photographer Florence Henri, she went to Paris in 1930, where she produced fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar, and garnered a reputation as a photojournalist, publishing in Le Monde Illustré and others. Bing incorporated photojournalist techniques into her artistic work and enlivened many of her images with motion (see, for example, her early 1930s photographs of dancers at the Moulin Rouge and the ballet Errante). Influenced by abstract painting, New Vision photography, and Surrealism, she built up geometric compositions from ordinary scenes, as in Three Men on Steps by the Seine (1931; London, V&A), and experimented with solarization, night photography, and cropping and enlarging. Her striking self-portrait from this period (...


Erika Billeter

(b Berlin, Jan 26, 1897; d Rome, July 4, 1969).

American photographer of German birth. In 1918, in exile in the Netherlands, Blumenfeld met George Grosz, Howard Mehring and Paul Citroen. Working already as a photographer, painter and writer, he set up a photographic business in Paris in 1936 after the bankruptcy of his leather-goods shop in the preceding year. In 1941 he emigrated to the USA, and within two years he was one of the best-paid freelance photographers, working for Vogue, Life and Harper’s Bazaar. In 1955 he began the text of his autobiography, Blumenfeld: Meine 100 Besten Fotos (1979), on which he worked for the rest of his life. Blumenfeld’s personal photography showed the influence of Dada. He experimented unflaggingly with the technical possibilities of photography: solarization, multiple exposures, distortions. The dominant themes throughout his work were women and death. His international reputation was based not only on his experimental photography but also on his Fashion photography...


Stanley G. Triggs

(b Bristol, 1859; d Newcastle upon Tyne, 1945).

English photographer, active in Canada. He emigrated to Canada in 1882, intent on buying a ranch at Bird’s Hill, Manitoba, 12 miles north-east of Winnipeg. After two years he decided to move further west to the new and fast-growing town of Calgary, Alberta, a divisional point on the new railway line pushing westward to the Pacific. An amateur photographer, he recognized an opportunity to start a photographic business and returned to England in 1885 to purchase professional equipment and supplies. By spring 1886 he was back in Calgary working as a landscape photographer. In 1887 he and his cousin, Ernest May, became partners, operating as Boorne and May. May worked in the business for only two years and was largely responsible for darkroom work, correspondence and some portraits.

Boorne took many outstanding photographs of ranches and activities accompanying wheat farming and cattle-raising. He made frequent photographic trips to the mountains of Alberta and British Columbia along the Canadian Pacific Railway line. In summer ...


Constance W. Glenn

(b New York, June 14, 1904; d Darien, CT, Aug 27, 1971).

American photographer. Bourke-White studied at Columbia University, New York (1921–22), where she was influenced by Clarence H(udson) White’s photography course. After attending a number of colleges she decided in 1927 to pursue a career in photography and moved to Cleveland, OH, where she set up a photographic studio. Her industrial images caught the attention of Henry Luce (1898–1967), the founder of Time and Fortune magazines, and he invited her to become the first staff photographer for Fortune in 1929.

In 1930 Fortune paid for Bourke-White to photograph German industry, for example Workmen in the AEG Plant (1930; see Silverman, p. 39). Although the editors were interested in a project on the USSR, they doubted that the Soviet authorities would grant the permission to photograph industry there. Bourke-White decided to pursue the matter and photographed subjects such as Dam at Dnieperstroi (1930; see Silverman, p. 42). Her experience was recorded in ...


Mark W. Sullivan

(b Fairhaven, MA, April 30, 1823; d New York, April 25, 1892).

American painter and photographer. Bradford became a full-time artist about 1853, after spending a few years in the wholesale clothing business. In 1855 he set up a studio in Fairhaven, MA, and made a living by painting ship portraits. At the same time he studied with the slightly more experienced marine painter Albert van Beest (1820–60), and they collaborated on several works. By 1860 Bradford had moved to New York and was starting to gain a reputation for such paintings of the coast of Labrador as Ice Dwellers Watching the Invaders (c. 1870; New Bedford, MA, Whaling Mus.) and Greenland (), which were based on his own photographs and drawings (e.g. An Incident of Whaling and An Arctic Summer: Boring through the Pack in Melville Bay, 1871). From 1872 to 1874 he was in London, lecturing on the Arctic and publishing his book The Arctic Regions...


(b Warren County, NY, 1823; d New York, Jan 15, 1896).

American photographer. At the age of 16 Brady left his home town and moved to nearby Saratoga. There he learnt how to manufacture jewellery cases and met William Page, who taught him the techniques of painting. Impressed by his ability, Page took Brady to New York in 1841 to study with Samuel F(inley) B(reese) Morse at the Academy of Design, and to attend Morse’s school of daguerreotypy; there Brady learnt the details of photographic technique. After experimenting with the medium from 1841 to 1843, Brady set up his Daguerrean Miniature Gallery in New York (1844), where he both took and exhibited daguerreotypes. Very soon he established a considerable reputation and in 1845 won first prize in two classes of the daguerreotype competition run by the American Institute. He concentrated on photographic portraits, especially of famous contemporary Americans, such as the statesman Henry Clay (1849; Washington, DC, Lib. Congr.). In ...


James Crump

(b Ogolitchi, nr St Petersburg, 1898; d Le Thor, Vaucluse, April 15, 1971).

American typographic designer, art director and photographer. After settling in the USA in 1930, he established a reputation as one of the most influential art directors of the 20th century. He was best known for his 24-year career (1934–1958) at the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar and for his Design Laboratory, operated first under the auspices of the Philadelphia Museum School (1936–40) and then (1941–59) of the New School for Social Research and the American Institute of Graphic Arts, both in New York. Through his work at Harper’s, Brodovitch revolutionized modern magazine design by forging a greater integration of typography, text and photography. His innovative layouts and numerous cover illustrations for the magazine popularized the techniques of montage, full-bleed paging and strategic sequencing of photographs that fostered interactive readership. In 1945 Brodovitch published Ballet, an influential book featuring his own photographs of the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo taken between ...


Constance W. Glenn

(b Hawker, Port Augusta, S. Australia, March 11, 1900; d San Francisco, CA, Aug 10, 1983).

American photographer of Australian birth. Bruehl trained as an electrical engineer in Melbourne, but in 1919 he emigrated to the USA. He developed his interest in photography while working for the Western Electric Company, New York. In 1923 he attended an exhibition by students of Clarence H(udson) White, who was then considered America’s most prominent Pictorialist photographer. White agreed to teach him privately, but by 1924 Bruehl had become both a regular student at White’s New York school and a member of his summer faculty in Canaan, CT. White encouraged the individualism shown by his students. Among them, Bruehl, Paul Outerbridge and Ralph Steiner became known for a crisp, graphic style that would distinguish the best commercial photography in the 1920s and 1930s.

In 1927 Bruehl opened his own studio, which prospered in New York until 1966. The photograph Untitled (Riverside, U. CA, Mus. Phot., see 1985 exh. cat., no. 20) of an apple, camera and lamp exemplifies his use of high contrast with black background and is an example of the table-top still-lifes that appeared in such magazines as ...


Erika Billeter

(b San Francisco, CA, Oct 16, 1880; d London, May 8, 1945).

American photographer. He studied painting in Europe and trained as a photographer in New York with Frank Eugene. In 1905, after meeting Alfred Stieglitz and the photographers associated with the Gallery 291 gallery in New York, he became a member of the Photo-Secession. From then until 1918 he experimented with photography in San Francisco; some of his photographs appeared in Camera Work in 1916. In 1919 he opened his own photographic studio in New York. He became well known for his images of alienation—reminiscent of the Cubists—which he achieved by photographing subjects with the help of mirrors. He was an important pioneer of theatre photography, collaborating with Norman Bel Geddes and making an important contribution to the latter’s edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy in 1924. His preoccupation with light led him to create abstract photographs from elements of light, some of which were exhibited at the Sturm-Galerie in Berlin in ...


Elizabeth Hutchinson


(b Missouri, 1887; d Florida, 1965).

American artistic and commercial photographer. Working primarily in portraiture, she was an active participant in the Pictorialism movement and went on to produce photographs for illustration and advertising.

Buehrmann became interested in photography while studying art as a teenager. She left the Art Institute of Chicago to become a studio assistant to Eva Watson-Schütze (1867–1935) and progressed quickly, becoming an Associate of the Photo-Secession in 1904. Buehrmann spent 1906–7 abroad, studying photographic work in London and working for several months at the Photo-Club of Paris. Despite her youth, Buehrmann was included in many group exhibitions promoting Pictorialism, including Photo-Secession shows organized by Alfred Stieglitz in 1908 and 1909, the International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography at the Albright Art Gallery in 1910, and several of the annual salons of the Photo-Club of Paris. She was prominently featured in the Art Crafts exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in ...


Richard Lorenz

[Percy Wingfield]

(b Chicago, IL, April 18, 1902; d Monterey, CA, Nov 16, 1975).

American photographer. Bullock was brought up in South Pasadena, CA, and he moved to New York in the early 1920s to attend Columbia University and to study singing and music. He was a professional tenor before moving in 1928 to Paris, where he lived for two years and became increasingly interested in the visual arts and photography. He bought his first camera to document his intermittent tours around the continent. Returning to the USA in 1931, Bullock briefly considered a career in real estate or law before enrolling in the Los Angeles Art Center School in 1938. There he studied photography with Edward Kaminski (1895–1964), who encouraged the creative use of the medium, in particular surrealistic experimentation.

Bullock’s early work reflected the experimental approach of his teacher. He developed a solarization technique, patenting it in 1948, which photographically produced a line drawing of the outlines of objects rather than a conventional continuous tone image. He also worked in the carbro colour print process, a complex technique used to produce brilliant, highly focused colour prints (...


Monica McTighe

(b St Louis, MO, 1948).

American photographer and multimedia artist. Using newly developed computer technologies in the 1970s, Burson designed ways to manipulate photographs digitally. She relied on this technique to produce images of people at an older age, fantastical composites of humans and animals, as well as composites of celebrities and politicians. She has also worked in the media of painting, drawing, and printmaking.

Burson began her career as a painter, studying for two years in the mid-1960s at Colorado Women’s College in Denver, CO. In 1968 she moved to New York City where she saw the Museum of Modern Art exhibition titled The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, which focused on the connections between art and technology. This exhibition helped inspire her development of ‘The Age Machine’, an interactive device that allowed viewers to see images of their aged faces. For help with this project, she approached Experiments in Art and Technology...


Merry A. Foresta

(b Detroit, Oct 22, 1912; d Atlanta, GA, March 15, 1999).

American photographer. Callhan took up photography in 1938, at the relatively late age of 26. Ansel Adams visited the Detroit Photo Guild in 1941 and Callahan was inspired by his emphasis on craftsmanship and his majestic images. Callahan’s earliest works focused on the calligraphic details of landscape, such as the patterns of grass against snow or telephone wires against the sky, or explored the effects of multiple exposures. Later subjects included studies of his wife Eleanor, a series of portraits made on Chicago’s State Street in 1950, a series of houses at Providence, RI, and Cape Cod beachscapes begun in the 1960s. Whether working in black and white or, later, in colour, as in Harry Callahan: Color (New York, 1980), Callahan was committed in all his work to what he called ‘the moment that people can’t always see’.

In 1946 Callahan joined the staff at the Institute of Design in Chicago. Colleagues such as the architect Mies van der Rohe, the artist Hugo Weber (...


Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...


Xiao Situ

(b Budapest, Hungary, April 10, 1918; d New York City, May 23, 2008).

Hungarian-born American photographer. Brother of the photographer Robert Capa. Born Cornel Friedmann in Budapest in 1918, Capa moved to New York in 1937 and became an American citizen in 1944, officially changing his name to Cornell Capa. He practiced and advocated a form of humanitarian documentary photojournalism that aimed to deepen people’s awareness and concern about the social, economic and political issues that confronted individuals and groups of people around the world.

He worked as a staff photographer for Life magazine from 1946 to 1954, covering social and political conditions and events in the United States, England and Latin America. Some of his most notable contributions to the magazine during this period include his photo essays on Judaism and Israel, the education of mentally disabled children in northeastern United States and the 1952 presidential campaign of Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson.

After Capa’s older brother, the American war photographer Robert Capa, was killed in ...


Reinhold Misselbeck

[Friedman, André ]

(b Budapest, Oct 22, 1913; d Thai-Binh, Vietnam, May 25, 1954).

American photographer of Hungarian birth. Capa studied political science at Berlin University from 1931 to 1933. A self-taught photographer, as early as 1931 he worked as a photographic technician for the Ullstein publishing house and as a photographic assistant for Dephot (Deutscher Photodienst) cooperative photographic agency. In 1933 he emigrated to Paris, where he and his friend Gerda Pohorylles (1901–37) invented the American-sounding name Robert Capa, initially to publish photo-stories for which she wrote the text. This unsettled period in Paris offered numerous opportunities to work as a freelancer and to publish successfully. Although Lucien Vogel, the publisher of the magazine Vu, had revealed Capa’s use of a pseudonym, he kept the name and flew to Spain as a reporter on the Spanish Civil War. With Pohorylles (using the pseudonym Gerda Taro) he published Death in the Making, which contained his most famous photograph Death of a Spanish Loyalist...


Constance W. Glenn

(b Boston, MA, Dec 7, 1932).

American photographer. Caponigro studied music at Boston University College of Music (1950–51). In 1953 and again in 1956, while he also studied with Alfred W. Richter, Caponigro studied photography with Benjamin Chin, a former student of Ansel Adams and Minor White at the California School of Fine Art. From 1957 to 1959 he was associated with Minor White, first as a student in Rochester, New York, at workshops in White’s home and then as an assistant during the summers of 1958 and 1959. His association with White provided the basis for his mature style. A delicate tonal balance and mystical view of nature typify black-and-white images such as Running White Deer and County Wicklow, Ireland (1967; see Landscape: Photographs by Paul Caponigro, New York, 1975, no. 27). Throughout his career he repeatedly returned to the examination of particular forms in nature. Close-up views of sunflowers constitute one series (...


Andrew Cross

(b Lansing, MI, Sept 17, 1953).

American photographer and installation artist. Casebere made his first photographs of constructed models in 1975 while completing a BFA at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. This method of image-making, a kind of no-man’s land between reality and constructed fiction, became his trademark. By the time he graduated from the California Institute of Fine Arts in Valencia, CA, he was part of a generation of American artists, including Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, that was redefining the use of photography in art. Casebere’s early work directly referenced Hollywood films and television, depicting scenes in American domestic interiors or the popular conception of the Wild West. His primary concerns at that time were the exploration of personal and collective memories and the presentation of myths of a past that continue to inhabit the present. Always showing places without people in them, these images take on a charged atmosphere reminiscent of ...