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Article

Aaris Sherin

(b New Haven, CT, June 15, 1917; d New York, NY, Feb 13, 2012).

American graphic designer and photographer. After attending Textile High School in Manhattan, Bassman worked briefly on mosaic murals for the World’s Fair in New York. In 1935 she married photographer Paul Himmel (b 1914), whom she had known since childhood. After briefly taking night classes in fashion illustration at Pratt Institute of Art, she became a student of Alexey Brodovitch, the Russian émigré art director of Harper’s Bazaar, at the New School, New York. Bassman worked as an assistant to Elizabeth Arden (1878–1966), but was soon asked to become Brodovitch’s first paid assistant at Harper’s Bazaar. In 1945 Hearst Magazines, the publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, launched Junior Bazaar and Bassman and Brodovitch became its co-art directors, responsible for the overall vision of the magazine. Junior Bazaar ran as a stand-alone magazine from November 1945 until May 1948. It was the incubation ground for numerous talented young artists, designers and writers, many of whom went on to high-profile jobs in the industry. Bassman’s bold use of colour and asymmetrical compositions gave the magazine pages a lively attitude that was quite different in character from the more sophisticated and conservative layouts in ...

Article

Monica Bohm-Duchen

(b Haag, Austria, April 5, 1900; d Santa Barbara, CA, Sept 30, 1985).

American painter, designer, photographer and typographer, of Austrian birth. After serving in the Austrian army (1917–18), Bayer studied architecture under Professor Schmidthammer in Linz in 1919 and in 1920 worked with the architect Emanuel Margold in Darmstadt. From 1921 to 1923 he attended the Bauhaus in Weimar, studying mural painting (with Vasily Kandinsky) and typography; it was at this time that he created the Universal alphabet, consisting only of lowercase letters. In 1925 he returned to the Bauhaus, then in Dessau, as a teacher of advertising, layout and typography, remaining there until 1928. For the next ten years he was based in Berlin as a commercial artist: he worked as art manager of Vogue (1929–30) and as director of the Dorland advertising agency. Shortly after his first one-man exhibitions at the Galerie Povolotski, Paris, and at the Kunstlerbund März, Linz (both 1929), he created photomontages of a Surrealist nature, such as ...

Article

Janet Bishop

(b San Francisco, CA, May 14, 1932).

American painter. Native of the San Francisco Bay Area, known for careful observation and explicit use of snapshot-like photographic source material for paintings of family, cars, and residential neighborhoods. The artist rose to national and international prominence in early 1970s as part of the Photorealist movement (see Photorealism).

From the 1960s, Bechtle pursued a quiet realism based on the things he knew best, translating what seem to be ordinary scenes of middle-class American life into paintings. Following an early childhood in the Bay Area and Sacramento, his family settled in 1942 in Alameda, an island suburb adjacent to Oakland where his mother would occupy the same house for almost 60 years. The neighborhood appears in many of Bechtle’s paintings.

Bechtle earned both his BFA (1954) and his MFA (1958) at Oakland’s California College of Arts and Crafts, where he studied graphic design and then painting. During his student years and into the 1960s, Bechtle was influenced by Pop art’s precedent for the use of commercial subject matter and techniques. He was likewise interested in Bay Area figuration, especially the subjects and structure of paintings by ...

Article

(b New Orleans, LA, March 15, 1873; d New Orleans, 1949).

American photographer. Bellocq is known to have worked as a commercial photographer in New Orleans from 1895 to 1940 and to have photographed for local shipbuilders and in the Chinese sector of New Orleans, although none of this work apparently survives. His photography is known only through prints made by Lee Friedlander from the 89 gelatin dry plate negatives found after Bellocq’s death. These negatives date from c. 1912 and are sympathetic portraits of prostitutes of New Orleans and interior views of their workplaces. Known as the Storyville Portraits, 34 were shown by MOMA, New York, in a travelling exhibition in 1970–71. Bellocq’s life was the subject of Pretty Baby (1978), a film by Louis Malle.

E. J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits: Photographs from the New Orleans Red-light District, circa 1912 (exh. cat. by J. Szarkowski and L. Friedlander, New York, MOMA, 1970)G. Badger: ‘Viewed’, British Journal of Photography...

Article

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 ...

Article

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....

Article

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 (...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Surrey, Feb 16, 1931).

Brazilian photographer and film maker of English birth. Having moved to Brazil, she studied painting with André Lhote in Paris (1953–4) and with the American painter Morris Kantor (b 1896) at the Art Students’ League in New York (1954–6), before deciding to become a photographer; after 1962 she worked as a freelance photojournalist and film maker. In 1970 a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled her to go to Brazil, where she settled. She began to take an interest in the Indian inhabitants, and as a result spent years working with the Xingu in the Amazon region, creating an important visual record of the Amazon Indians at a time when their culture was increasingly threatened. In 1975 this work brought her the Critics’ Prize at the São Paulo Biennale. In 1979 her illustrated book Xingu Tribal Territory appeared. Among her films were A João Guimarães Rosa (...

Article

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...

Article

Manuel Cirauqui

(b Mexico City, 1981).

Mexican conceptual artist. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bonillas started his career before, and instead of, undertaking an official fine arts education. Widely and internationally exhibited before he reached age 20, his work began with highly analytical studies of ordinary photographic procedures such as printing (in his foundational piece, Trabajos fotográficos, 1998) or pressing the shutter (Diez cámaras documentadas acústicamente, 1998).

Bonillas’s work investigates the materiality and semiotic depth of the photographic medium in a somewhat topographic manner: starting, and never ending, in a periphery that stands ambiguously as both the material margins of photography as well as its self-reflective dimension. However, the “peripheral” nature of Bonillas’s inquiry quickly reveals itself as a strategy to address core aspects of a medium whose substance lies, precisely, on its surface. As the artist exerts infinite variations on generic aspects of the photographic practice, alternately related to structure and meaning (primary colors, family photographs, erasures, captioning, fiction, archival habits, etc.), he delivers a paradox with each of his works. In them, background becomes foreground, face becomes pigment, anecdote becomes the main theme, stain becomes signature, and vice versa....

Article

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 ...

Article

Elva Peniche Montfort

(b Guadalajara, Mar 22, 1939; d Mexico City, Dec 3, 2003).

Mexican photographer. His work combines the production of documentary images with artistic experimentation. In Mexico he pioneered the expressive use of color photography, three-dimensional supports, non-traditional printing techniques, photomontages, and large formats, as well as the creation of “environments.” Unlike most of his colleagues, Bostelmann had formal training in photography. He received a scholarship to study at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie in Munich (1958–1960), where he first came into contact with such movements as subjective photography. Upon his return to Mexico in 1960 he began working as a professional, developing twin careers as an artist and as a commercial photographer in the fields of advertising and industrial and artwork photography, where he created images of great technical and aesthetic value.

In 1970 he published América: Un viaje a través de la injusticia (“America: A journey through injustice”), one of the first Latin American photobooks ever to be printed. The book is consistent with the rhetoric of social criticism that was dominant in photography at the time. It comprises a selection of images that he took during his travels through Mexico and Central and South America, unified by a strong and consistent aesthetic approach. Bostelmann was one of the first photographers to exhibit his work in museums traditionally oriented towards painting and sculpture (such as the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City). He was also one of the first to send an exhibition abroad, as in the case of ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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...

Article

(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 ...

Article

Erika Billeter

(b Eisenach, 1882; d Mexico City, 1954).

German photographer, active in Mexico. As a young man he travelled through Africa, taking photographs; an archive of some of these glass plates survives. He reached Mexico by way of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, and took his first Mexican photographs in the Yucatán peninsula. He then opened a studio in Mexico City and, together with Augustín Victor Casasola, became one of the most important photographers of the Revolution (1910–17). What he loved most, however, was the beauty of the Mexican landscape. His book Malerisches Mexico was published by Ernst Wachsmuth in Germany in 1923, the same year in which he collaborated with Manuel Alvarez Bravo, later to become Mexico’s leading photographer. Brehme’s photography was not merely reportage. He sought to capture the spirit of the country rather than isolated events as, for example, in his photograph of Pancho Villa’s horsemen, each in direct eye-contact with the photographer. In this he was inspired by José Guadalupe Posada, who was one of the first artists to capture the Mexican temperament in his woodcuts. Occasionally, indeed, Posada worked from photographs by Brehme and by Casasola. More than most foreigners, Brehme was able to feel real empathy with Mexico, and he became an impressive interpreter not only of its customs and traditions, but also of its historical monuments and festivals....

Article

Cruz Barceló Cedeño

(b Río, Sucre, March 20, 1945).

Venezuelan photographer. He took courses in cinema at the Ateneo in Caracas, where his interest in photography began. After winning second prize in the National Salon of Photography, he went to Rome on a scholarship to study at the Centro de Adiestramiento Profesional ‘Don Orione’. His black-and-white photographic work is distinctive in its capturing of physical details and gestures of people in the street, such as their hands, feet and faces, obliging the spectator to complete the figure with his imagination; examples include ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...