Born 1897 in Berlin, Erwin Blumenfeld was taking photographs by the time he was eleven. The first stirrings of Dadaism were an early influence on his emerging talent. Following the First World War Blumenfeld married and spent seventeen years in Holland raising a family and developing his photographic skills. He moved to Paris in 1936, and his first exhibition was held there in March. After the German Invasion he was interned in French concentration camps, but managed to emigrate to the United States in 1941.
1940s Fashion Photography by Erwin Blumenfeld
After the war Blumenfeld’s career flourished, with his work adorning the covers of Look, Life, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. He became the highest paid freelance photographer in New York, but still preferred to be identified as an amateur so that he might choose those subjects which most attracted him – landscapes, sculpture, architecture and, above all, women.
Blumenfeld summed himself up by saying “My life began with the discovery of the magic of chemistry, the interplay of shade and light and the double-edged problem of positive and negative.” He tackled his obsession with women by declaring “How seriously I take beauty, all my portraits reflect my vision. The artist lives on variations of a single theme.”
Erwin Blumenfeld died in Rome in 1969 at the age of 71.
These stunning photos that show part of his work in the 1940s.