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Article

(b Buffalo, KS, July 8, 1900; d North Tarrytown, NY, Aug 17, 1992).

American photographer, designer, printmaker and writer. She studied painting and printmaking at the University of California, Los Angeles (1919–23). After graduating she experimented with puppetry and theatrical lighting at Cilpin Puppet Theatre and Potboiler Theatre and taught art at San Frando High School (1919–25). In 1925 she married photographer and publisher Willard Morgan (1900–67). Two years later she returned to UCLA to teach abstract design, landscape, and woodcut printmaking. For the next decade Morgan worked professionally in publishing where she designed books and wrote on art and photography. Morgan was among the first of her contemporaries to be interested in modern art and looked to the European avant-garde for ideas on creativity. Though best known for her photography, Morgan was also an accomplished book designer (designing for her husband’s publishing company) and painter and printmaker. In 1930 Morgan and her husband moved to New York where she continued her photography, becoming a member of the Photo League....

Article

[Marmorstein, Martin]

(b Kolozsvar, Munkacsi, Hungary [now Cluj-Napoca, Romania], May 18, 1896; d New York, July 14, 1963).

American photographer of Hungarian birth. From 1911 to 1913 he worked as an apprentice house painter before moving to Budapest in 1913. From 1914 to 1921 he was a reporter for Az Est, Pesti Napló and Szinházi Elet. A self-taught photographer, in 1921 he began to contribute photographs, as well as reports, on sport to Az Est and also photographs to the weekly review Theatre Life. In 1923 he was awarded a three-year contract with Ullstein Verlag in Berlin, during which time he contributed to Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, Die Dame, Koralle, Uhu and other Ullstein publications, travelling widely abroad. From 1930 to 1933 he worked as a freelance photographer, contributing to The Studio, Harper’s Bazaar, Deutsche Lichtbild, Photographie and others, producing such striking images as Mid-Morning Coffee Break (1933; see White and Esten, p. 17) for the Deutsche Lichtbild.

In 1934, with Nazism on the rise, Munkacsi immigrated to America, where he worked as a fashion photographer for ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Jason E. Hill

(b Syracuse, NY, March 14, 1948).

American photojournalist. Nachtwey worked with the photo agencies Black Star (1980–85), Magnum (1986–2001), and VII (2001–), of which he was a founding member, and has been under contract with Time magazine since 1984. Nachtwey studied art history and political science at Dartmouth College (1966–70). Inspired by the civil rights and Vietnam War photography of Larry Burrows and Don McCullan, Nachtwey took to photojournalism, beginning in 1976 with a four-year stint covering local news at the Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico. In 1980 he moved to New York City and worked as a freelance photojournalist. His first domestic reporting covered the 1980 Boston school-busing controversy, and his first foreign assignment took him to Northern Ireland to cover Bobby Sands and the 1981 IRA hunger strike. From this point on, Nachtwey was singularly committed to making visible the human costs of military conflict and other manmade humanitarian crises. His first book-length collection ...

Article

Elizabeth Mitchell Walter

(b Essen, March 17, 1915; d East Hampton, NY, Oct 13, 1990).

American photographer and film maker. He worked in France and Spain as a freelance photographer for Life, Vu and other magazines from 1935 to 1938, during which time he photographed the Spanish Civil War (1936–9). He settled in the USA in 1951 and studied under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research, New York. In the late 1940s he worked in Guatemala, where he later returned repeatedly, taking portraits of the inhabitants of the village of Todos Santos. In the 1950s he began taking photographic portraits of prominent American painters and sculptors. Much of Namuth’s career focused on recording the working techniques of the Abstract Expressionist painters, particularly Jackson Pollock, who was the subject of his first film in 1951. His own work was characterized by its calm intimacy, reflecting the influence of August Sander.

Namuth, Hans Pollock Painting (New York, 1980) Artists, 1950–81: A Personal View...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(b Fort Wayne, IN, Dec 6, 1941).

American conceptual artist. Recognized as one of the most influential, innovative, and provocative 20th century American artists, Nauman extended the media of sculpture, film, video, photography, and sound with performance and spatial explorations. Nauman attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1960 to 1964, with early studies in mathematics and physics, which broadened to the study of art under Italo Scanga (1932–2001). He received a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of California, Davis in 1966 under William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson, Frank Owen (b 1939), and Stephen Kaltenbach (b 1940) and honorary degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute (1989) and California Institute of Art (2000). In 1966 he began to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Nauman’s interactive artworks and performances explore the syntactical nuances of language, text, and figurative gesture to create material culture and in-between places, which often result in a heightened sense of physical and emotional awareness. Nauman’s artistic explorations of spatial perception, bodily consciousness, physical and mental activity, and linguistic manipulation were demonstrated in interactive spatial compositions that accentuated various relationships between the human body and built environments. Early works included body castings and holographic self-images with subsequent works situating the viewer within their own mental and bodily perceptions. In ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Qazvin, Iran, March 26, 1957).

American photographer and video artist of Iranian birth. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was awarded a BFA in 1979 and an MFA in 1982. She became involved in the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York when she was unable to return to Iran for political reasons. Years later, having settled in New York, she began making art in response to the situation she found after a visit to the post-Shah religious state. Using the Islamic veil, or chador, she made photographs that examined stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed by the veil but also empowered by their refusal of the Western colonial gaze, as in Women of Allah (1993–7) and Rebellious Silence (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 61). In these works Neshat is often posed with a gun, her image overlaid in Islamic script, as a way of confronting the Western view of Islam as both incomprehensible and dangerous. In ...

Article

Virginie Bobin

Exhibition of 90 photographs by Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, held at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York from 28 February to 7 May 1967, before touring in the United States and in Canada. Organized by John Szarkowski (1925–2007), Director of the Department of Photography at MOMA, it introduced the work of a new generation of American photographers whose diverse styles and topics disrupted the tradition of documentary photography by driving it to more personal ends.

From the 1930s to the 1950s, photographers such as Dorothea Lange or Robert Capa conceived their images about the Great Depression or World War II as social and political tools. In contrast, the photographers featured in New Documents used handheld cameras and a spontaneous aesthetic to capture scenes of modern life without pathos or sentiment. Diane Arbus celebrated both the quotidian and the grotesque in humanity in a series of portraits, such as ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

American group of artists active in the 1950s and 1960s who were part of a movement that was reacting to Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and conceptual art by choosing to represent traditional subjects of nudes, portraiture, still lifes, landscapes and urban street scenes that often were plain and ordinary. The rise of consumerism and mass production inspired New Realist artists who returned to representing subjects as everyday and common visual encounters and experiences. The New Realist movement is in contrast to earlier forms of realism practiced by European artists whose works embody idealism or romanticize the commonality of the subject. New Realism is also associated with the emergence of Photorealism, where the camera captured the momentary fleeting naturalism of the subject. A common approach characteristically unifying New Realist artworks is the notion of the presence of the subject, which is understood as the representation of a neutral peripheral visual experience that exposes the subject prior to its discovery as a cognitive translation, intellectual or emotional response. Paintings and drawings present the perception of the real in a direct, clear and straightforward way using conventional drawing and painting techniques, and classical compositional approaches. Subjects are acutely observed and revealed with precise attention to detail and technical draftsmanship to disclose the detached presence of the subject itself....

Article

Melissa Ragain

Term used to describe a photographic movement identified in an exhibition organized by the curator for 20th-century photography, William Jenkins, at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, NY (Dec 1975–Feb 1976). Jenkins chose ten photographers (Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Becher family and Becher family, Joe Deal (b 1947), Frank Gohlke (b 1942), Nicholas Nixon (b 1947), John Schott (b 1944), Stephen Shore, and Henry Wessel Jr (b 1942)) whom, he argued, looked at the American landscape with a clinical objectivity rather than a Romantic or Symbolist sensibility that had marked earlier representations of the American landscape. The name ‘New Topographics’ suggested the same aesthetic disinterest of the land surveyor and who rejects metaphysical content of the image in favor of the informative function of the document.

Jenkins suggested in his catalog essay that these photographers extended the conceptual photography begun by Dan Graham and Ed Ruscha in ...

Article

Lisa Hostetler

Term originally referring to the 16 New York-based photographers who were featured in Jane Livingston’s book The New York School: Photographs 1936–1963, which served as the published record of three exhibitions consecutively displayed at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, in 1985. The photographers included in the publication were Sid Grossman (1913–55), Alexey Brodovitch, Lisette Model, Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, William Klein, Weegee, Ted Croner (1922–2005), Saul Leiter (b 1923), Leon Levinstein (1910–93), David Vestal (b 1924), Bruce Davidson, Don Donaghy (1936–2008), Diane Arbus, and Richard Avedon. (The series of exhibitions also included Roy DeCarava and Ed Feingersh but omitted Saul Leiter and Weegee.) Although not formally affiliated as a group, these photographers were all active in New York during the decades surrounding World War II, and their work shared certain formal and conceptual characteristics. These include an often casual disregard for the rules of proper photography, a decidedly subjective point of view, and an implicit concern with the fate of individuality and personal identity in an increasingly anonymous modern world. Since the publication of Livingston’s book, the term ‘New York School Photography’ has been applied more broadly to the work of street photographers (...

Article

Jessica S. McDonald

(b Lynn, MA, June 22, 1908; d Santa Fe, NM, Feb 26, 1993).

American art historian, curator, museum director, educator, and photographer. In his unprecedented seven-decade career as the preeminent historian of photography in the United States, Newhall established the medium’s vital role in art history and advanced its status as an independent art. Born into a prosperous family in Lynn, MA, Newhall studied art history at Harvard University, finishing his undergraduate studies in the spring of 1930 and returning in the fall as a graduate student. He enrolled in Paul J(oseph) Sachs’s course ‘Museum Work and Museum Problems’, the first such course offered in the United States. When Newhall completed his master’s degree in 1931, Sachs helped him obtain short-term employment at the Pennsylvania Museum of Art (now the Philadelphia Museum of Art), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, before recommending him for the position of librarian at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, in 1935...

Article

Reinhold Misselbeck

(Abner)

(b New York, March 3, 1918; d New York, June 6, 2006).

American photographer. He studied art at the University of Miami Beach, FL, from 1936 until 1938. Afterwards he became an assistant to the portrait photographer Leon Perskie (d 1982), who had studios in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 1941 Newman moved to New York, and he opened his own portrait studio there in 1946. He developed the concept of ‘environmental portraiture’, in which the photograph is arranged so as to include a considered and sparse environment that still retains and reflects character. His portraits of artists in particular reveal the personality of the subject without having to concentrate on the face. Well-known examples are his portraits of Piet Mondrian in his studio (1942; see Artists: Portraits from Four Decades, fig.) and Igor Stravinksy at the piano (1946; see Booth, p. 176). Newman published his photographs in numerous magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Time, Life, Look and Fortune. He taught at many universities and from ...

Article

Francis Summers

(b Dallas, TX, June 24, 1951).

American photographer. Nicosia studied Radio, Television and Film at the University of North Texas, Denton, completing his studies in 1974. His early photographic work used a frenetic comic book style, with actors expressively posed in front of bizarre hand painted backdrops, as in Near (Modern) Disaster no. 5 (1983; see 1999 exh. cat., p. 51). Nicosia moved away from such cartoon-style work and began to make more considered, although still staged, portraits such as Danny & Conny (1985; see 1988 exh. cat., p. 54). With his Real Pictures series, Nicosia moved out of contrived studio situations and used actors outdoors, as well as black-and-white film in pursuit of greater realism. Works such as Real Pictures no. 8 (1989; see 1999 exh. cat., p. 55), a dispassionately framed image of a man threatening a clown from his car, showed Nicosia’s interest in a collision of the morbid and the absurd. Nicosia subsequently made works both in the studio, such as ...

Article

Monica McTighe

(b Detroit, MI, 1947).

American photographer. He received his BA in American literature from the University of Michigan in 1968. After marrying in 1971, he moved to New Mexico and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in 1974. He settled in Boston to teach at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. One of the photographers involved in the revival of large format camera in the 1970s, Nixon used this format to document the lives of everyday people. Nixon is best known for his ongoing series titled The Brown Sisters and for his photographs of individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Deciding to work exclusively with an 8×10 view camera, Nixon photographed views in Boston and New York. In 1975 Nixon was included in New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape, an exhibition that defined a new movement in photography characterized by the revival of the large format camera (...

Article

H. Alexander Rich

(b Philadelphia, PA, March 25, 1905; d New York, NY, April 12, 1997).

American photographer, writer, social advocate and patron of the arts. Best known for her professional and personal relationship with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, Norman was a lifelong lover and producer of art, whose interest in advancing the work of her fellow artists was rivaled only by her broader desire to effect social change. Born into an upper-class Philadelphia family, Norman (née Stecker) enjoyed the advantages of a childhood steeped in culture, from attending theater and the opera to visiting local art collections. Despite her own life of relative privilege, from an early age Norman exhibited a precocious awareness of social inequity and an eagerness to expand her horizons. As a young girl attending public school, she sensed the disparities between the opportunities afforded by her own upbringing and those available to others around her.

Frustrated by the fate of some of her fellow Philadelphians and feeling suffocated by the city itself, Norman believed that Philadelphia was too restrictive and longed to see the world beyond her native city. This perception was further bolstered when, as a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Norman took a course in modern art at the Barnes Foundation. The course was a transformative experience for Norman, igniting in her a true passion for art and a desire to immerse herself in the contemporary art world....

Article

Alice Ming Wai Jim

[Tetsuaki ]

(b Los Angeles, CA, March 3, 1940).

Alice Ming Wai Jim

Japanese American photographer.

In 1942, two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor during World War II, Tetsu Okuhara and his family were forced by the US government to evacuate their Westinter Coast home and relocate to a Japanese American internment camp south of Denver, CO. After the war, the family moved to Chicago, IL, where Okuhara grew up and studied at the University of Chicago (1959–62). Working as a freelance photographer, he moved to New York to attend the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture (1969–71). The first major public appearance of Okuhara’s work was in the July 1971 issue of Life magazine, which featured what was to be his most famous image, a 360-degree photo collage portrait of his wife. Susan (1971) consists of 112 individual black-and-white photographs of her head taken from different angles and then assembled into a single composite image using a grid format. The full nude portrait of ...

Article

Catherine M. Grant

(b Sandusky, OH, April 4, 1961).

American photographer. She started to take photographs at the age of nine, later studying photography at the San Francisco Institute (BFA 1985) and the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA (MFA 1988). The group of photographs that brought Opie international attention, Being and Having (1991) consisted of a series of head shots of butch women sporting false facial hair, for example Chief (1991; see 1997 exh. cat., p. 104). These images were of the artist’s friends in the lesbian and sado-masochist communities of San Francisco; this documentary aspect of the project continued in the Portrait series (1993–6), which consists of portraits of transgendered men and women, leather dykes and drag queens, as in Mike and Sky (1993; New York, Whitney). Opie frames her subjects against richly coloured backdrops, with the images challenging heterosexual norms of identity and sexuality. In the Freeway...

Article

(b New York, NY, Aug 15, 1896; d Laguna Beach, CA, Oct 17, 1958).

American photographer. He studied at the Art Students League in New York in 1915 and worked as a photographer for the army in 1917. In 1921 he attended the Clarence H. White School of Photography, where he worked assiduously on technique and was influenced by his teachers Arthur Wesley Dow and Max Weber. From 1922 he studied sculpture under Alexander Archipenko and by 1925 was in Paris, where he was introduced to Man Ray, Berenice Abbott, (Henri-Robert-)Marcel Duchamp, and many other artists. Ide Collar (1922) was admired by Duchamp. Outerbridge held his first photographic exhibition in 1923 at the John Wanamaker Gallery, New York. In 1927 he unsuccessfully entered into a studio venture with Mason Siegal, then worked as an assistant film director in Berlin and London and returned to New York in 1929. In the 1920s he made platinum and silver bromide prints, and in the 1930s he practised black-and-white ink drawings....

Article

John Fuller

(Elmo )

(b San Jose, CA, Sept 25, 1938).

American photographer. Owens earned a BA at Chico State College, CA (1963). From 1968 to 1978 he was a Photojournalism for the Livermore Independent. His photographs of middle-class life coupled with the subjects’ words were published as Suburbia (1973). Two sequels, Our Kind of People: American Groups and Rituals (1975) and Working: I Do it for the Money (1977), followed similar documentary form. He received four National Endowment for the Arts Grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1983 he retired to operate a brewpub in Hayward, CA.

Suburbia (San Francisco, 1973)Our Kind of People: American Groups and Rituals (1975)Working: I Do it for the Money (New York, 1977)Documentary Photography: A Personal View (Danbury, NH, 1978)Publish Your Photo Book: A Guide to Self-Publishing (1979)Bill Owens: Photographs, text by A. M. Homes and C. Zanfi (Bologna, 2007) Bill Owens...