About German photographer, Erwin BLUMENFELD (1897-1969)
Erwin BLUMENFELD was a photographer of German-Jewish origin. In the 1940s and 1950s he was considered one of the world's most sought-after portrait and fashion photographers. At the end of World War I he went to Amsterdam, made collages & drawings and participated in the Dutch Dada movement. In 1923 he opened a leather goods store. In 1932 he discovered an operational darkroom on the premises behind his store and from then on devoted himself to photography: he made portraits & nudes of his female customers. He hung new portraits in his shop window, alongside which he commented on current political events in sharp collages. In 1935 his first photographs were published in the French magazine 'Photographie' and shown at a group exhibition together with George Grosz, MAN RAY, Lázló MOHOLY-NAGY, Ferdinand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Kurt Schwitters and others. In 1936 he moved to Paris to work professionally as a photographer. In 1937 he made one of his most famous pictures 'Nude under Wet Veil'. In the same year he made the picture 'The Dictator' and one of the photo collages he made in 1933, 'Hitlerfresse', was exhibited in Paris in 1937. In 1938 Cecil BEATON helped him to get a contract with French Vogue. In 1939 he traveled to the U.S. for the first time and got a contract with the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar. In 1941/1942 he managed to emigrate to the U.S. For two years the studio of and with Martin MUNKÁCSI. Soon after, he moved into his own photo studio. In the 1940s and 1950s his work appeared in many American and international magazines. His nude photography was also highly regarded. He was among the highest paid fashion photographers of his time. Erwin BLUMENFELD died of a heart attack in Rome on July 4, 1969.
Photo books by and about Erwin BLUMENFELD
- 'My one hundred best photos' (1981); 'Erwin Blumenfeld' (1986, 1989); 'Paul Citroen and Erwin Blumenfeld 1919-1939' (1993); 'Blumenfeld. His complete works 1897-1969' (1996); 'Eye to I: The Autobiography of a Photographer' (1999); 'Erotic photographs' (2000); 'Phaidon 55' (2004); 'His Dutch Years 1918-1936' (2007); 'Dada montages 1916-1933' (2008); 'Stern Portfolio' (2011); 'Blumenfeld Studio. Color, New York, 1941-1960' (2013); 'Erwin Blumenfeld: Photographs, Drawings, and Photomotages' (2014); 'Photographers A-Z' (2015); 'From Dada to Vogue' (2016);