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12.09.2012

 

GoSee Recommendation : German Jewish fashion photographer Erwin Blumenfeld exhibition and book until September 16 at Musée Nicéphore Niépce

Erwin Blumenfeld (* 26 January 1897, Berlin; † 4. July 1969, Rome) was a photographer of German Jewish descent whose fashion career launch in the 1940s and 1950s progressed from initial failure to one of the world’s most sought after portrait and fashion photographers.

He was almost 40 years old when he first started to pursue a photography career in Paris, 1936. By 1939 he had already secured a contract with HARPERS BAZAAR on his first trip to the USA – however in an unfortunate twist of fate his unwise decision to return to France in 1940 was ‘rewarded’ with his being interned in a camp. When he was finally released he immigrated to America.

Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Life, Look .... all of them simply couldn’t get enough of Erwin.

The exhibition (take note: not in Paris!) presents countless negatives that have not seen the light of day for over 60 years - all carefully restored from the ravages of time by the lab at the Musée Nicéphore Niépce. The original colours have been seamlessly repaired. How did they end up in the French province? We don’t know.

Over 100 images are on display, lots of fashion, as well as black and white shots. The Blumenfeld Studio, Couleur, New York, 1941-1960 book published by Steidl accompanies the exhibition.

We also recommend: Helen Adkins: Erwin Blumenfeld. Dada-Montages 1916-1933. ‘I was nothing but a Berliner’. Stuttgart, Hatje Cantz Verlag 2008, ISBN 978-3-7757-2126-4 (Deutsch), ISBN 978-3-7757-2127-1 (English)

We spotted this interesting footnote on WIKIPEDIA : ‘In the 1960s, he worked on his autobiography which found no publisher because it was considered to be too ironic towards society, and was published only after his death.’

Sounds like our kind of book.



Studio Blumenfeld - New York, 1941-1960

Musée Nicéphore Niépce
ends 16 September 2012
28 quai des messageries
71100 Chalon-sur-Saône, Burgund
in the heart of la belle France