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Alphabetical Index of Photographers
Emerson was opposed to the artificial, sentimental arranged scenes so popular at this time. He was exceptionally fond of nature and the simple grace of the Norfolk Broads. His ideas were summarised in his 'Naturalistic Photography' published in 1889, although within 2 years he had renounced his previous views. -
Demachy was the son of a rich Paris banker and had ample finances to support his interests in music, painting and photography. His passion for photography led him to be the spokesman for French pictorialist photographers, writing many articles on the subject. Demachy refused to recognise that photography, as a copy of reality, could be art. He thought it could only be art if it resembled a drawing or painting. Although he would manipulate images, Demachy was able to capture the natural beauty of his subjects. In 1914 Demachy suddenly gave up photography forever.Alfred Stieglitz (1864 - 1946)
Stieglitz wanted to prove that photography could have an aesthetic validity without imitating painting. He never interfered with reality often waiting for hours until "everything was in balance". He founded the "Photo-Secession" group in 1902 and managed a small gallery in New York later to be named the 291 Gallery. He introduced the works of Rodin, Cezenne, Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, Braque and Brancusi to America.
Atget's monumental work was a photographic documentary of his beloved Paris. He always lived isolated from the mainstream of photography and its objectives of the time. For twenty years he subsisted on milk, bread and lumps of sugar. Although his pictures are priceless nowadays he would often loan them as study material. The list of people who borrowed them reads today like a Who's Who in art.Frederick H. Evans (1853-1943)
Frederick H. Evans was born in 1853, he did not take up photography until 1898 when he retired from being a bookseller. Evans was an early advocate of straight photography and produced some extraordinary architectural studies. His classic ‘Sea of Steps’ followed many years of photographing the interior of Wells Cathedral.Edward Steichen (1879 - 1973)
Steichen’s significant contribution to the field of artistic photography started in the early 1900's. In 1902 he became a founding member of "Photo Secession" , which was initiated by Alfred Stieglitz. During the 1930's he became one of the best paid fashion and portrait photographers of his time.
Lewis Wickes Hine was born in September 1874 in Wisconsin. He attended universities in Chicago, Columbia and New York, where he received a masters degree in Sociology in 1905. In 1911 Hine was appointed official photographer for the National Child Labour Committee, commissioned to photograph the plight of child workers. His interests began to focus on working people, leading to his commission in 1930 to record the construction of the Empire State Building.Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894 - 1986)
At the age of seven he called photography "magical". He took thousands of photographs that make up a remarkable album providing an inside view of the antics of a privileged family in France at the turn of the 19th Century. In 1912 he took an intriguing shot at the Delaye Grand Prix, however as a photographer he remained virtually unknown until 1963. In 1970 Richard Avedon published a selection of Lartigue's snapshots in a book called "Diary of the Century".Paul Strand (1890 - 1976)
Paul Strand fused together the two seemingly contradictory approaches of documentary and abstraction. For years he only produced contact prints, his pictures were pure, direct and devoid of trickery. His work represented the final break with the traditional concepts of photographic subject matter. -
Blossfeldt was born in Germany in 1865. After he left grammar school he began an apprenticeship in the nearby ironworks. Soon Blossfeldt went to study at the Berlin Museum of Arts and Crafts. In 1890, under the direction of Moritz Meurer (1839 - 1916), he went to Rome and began to systematically photograph carefully prepared plants. The aim was to provide natural models to help the development of German art and design. In 1898 Blossfeldt began to lecture, he continued to photograph plants and used these images as teaching aids in his drawing classes. Karl Blossfeldt did not consider himself a photographer, however in 1928 his first book was published. It contained his unmistakable plant photographs and was soon an international best-seller.Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (1895 - 1946)
Moholy-Nagy was born in Hungary. After the First World war he associated himself with Dadaists. In 1923 Gropius appointed him head of the Bauhaus metal workshop. He was a committed constructivist. He also performed abstract photography (photograms). He became a director of the New Bauhaus School in Chicago in 1937, then opened his own institute of design. He ignored the traditional terms of reference in representation. The public were shocked but the avant-garde artists received these experiments with enthusiasm. Moholy-Nagy said "The enemy of photography is convention, the fixed rules of 'how to do' ..... the salvation of photography comes from experiment".Man Ray (1890 - 1976)
Man Ray seemed to have been destined for Dada. Man Ray together with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy was regarded as the father of photographic abstraction. In 1921 he joined the flood of American expatriates going to Paris, five months later he had his first show. -John Heartfield (1891 - 1968)
Born in Berlin as Helmut Herzfelde. He became a leader among Dada artists with his multiple image prints that came to be called photomontage. He continued to wear his German Army uniform after demobilisation and allowed it to become dirty and ragged in order to "dishonour" it. By the late 1920's his images were still absurd but the message was clearly a political one. He was attacking the militarism of Germany. Because of these pictorial attacks on the Nazis, Heartfield had to flee his homeland soon after they took power.