In Pictures | Studio Blumenfield, New York
— August 16, 2012 —
In Pictures is a still and moving image gallery for significant works, events and places
The women serve, for the cover of Harper's Bazaar, July 1943 Photography by Erwin Blumenfeld, © The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld, collection Henry et Yorick BlumenfeldIt's interesting to consider how a location and a cultural climate can affect an creative's output. Take the photographer Erwin Blumenfled, whose relocation to New York from Paris is the subject of an exhibibition and accompanying book, including over 100 lesser known works from his remarkable output of fashion and advertising photographs. Sixty years on, many of the photographer's original sheet films had detoriated, but they have been restored by the laboratory of the musée Nicéphore Niépce in an attempt to present their original colours.
"In a context of economic growth and a buoyant and expanding press, it was in New York, working from his studio located 222 Central Park South, Blumenfeld's career flourished"
Born in Berlin to Jewish parents, Blumenfeld moved to the Netherlands in late 1918. In the 1930s, he published collages mocking Adolf Hitler before beginning a professional career in photography in 1934, taking portraits in Amsterdam. Two years later he emigrated to Paris but was interned in a concentration camp until his move to the US post war. In a context of economic growth and a buoyant and expanding press, it was in New York, working from his studio located 222 Central Park South, that Blumenfeld's career flourished. For a fifteen year period, he was regularly hired by wealthy advertising clients and leading US magazines – with the acclaimed art director Alexander Liberman reverently calling him the photographer “most graphic and rooted in art" – and became the most successful and highly paid fashion photographer of his era.
Studio Blumenfeld, New York, 1941 – 1960, runs until September 16. The book, Blumenfeld Studio, Couleur, New York, 1941-1960 is published by Steidl.
Text by Laura Bradley