Photography Masters

Biography: Pictorial Rural Life photographer Peter Henry Emerson

Biography: Pictorial Rural Life photographer Peter Henry Emerson

Peter Henry Emerson (1856 – 1936) was a British photographer. He bought his first camera in 1882 and spent the next several years studying and experimenting in photography. By 1885 he was exhibiting his work and winning prizes widely. In 1889 Peter Henry Emerson published Naturalistic Photography a handbook detailing his approach and the theories he believed supported it. Although…
Biography: City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

Biography: City / Street photographer Eva Besnyo

Eva Besnyo (1910–2002) was a Dutch-Hungarian photographer who participated in the Nieuwe Fotografie (New Photography) movement. In 1928, she started to study photography at József Pécsi’s studio where she also served an apprenticeship. In 1930, at the age of 20, she moved to Berlin where she first worked for advertising photographer René Ahrlé before working on photoreportages with the press…
Biography: Documentary photographer Walker Evans

Biography: Documentary photographer Walker Evans

Walker Evans (1903 – 1975) was an American photographer best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression. Much of Evans’s work from the FSA period uses the large-format, 8×10-inch camera. He said that his goal as a photographer was to make pictures that are “literate, authoritative, transcendent”. Many of his…
Biography: Nude/Fetish photographer Elmer Batters

Biography: Nude/Fetish photographer Elmer Batters

Elmer Batters (November 24, 1919 – June 25, 1997) was a pioneer fetish photographer who specialized in capturing artful images of women with an emphasis on stockings, legs, and feet: ahead of his time in popularizing foot fetishism imagery as erotic entertainment. Batters started out publishing his photographs himself, and since the early 1960s his work was featured in magazines…
Biography: City Life photographer Willy Ronis

Biography: City Life photographer Willy Ronis

Willy Ronis (1910 – 2009) was a French photographer. He was a son of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Lithuania. He started with photography in his father portrait studio. In 1936 after death of his father Ronis went free-lance, continuing with commercial commissions and beginning reportage. Ronis joined the photo agency Rapho together with Brassaï, Robert Doisneau and Ergy Landau.…
Biography: Robert Frank

Biography: Robert Frank

Robert Frank (born November 9, 1924) is an American photographer. His most notable work, the 1958 book titled The Americans, was influential, and earned Frank comparisons to a modern-day de Tocqueville for his fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society. Frank later expanded into film and video and experimented with manipulating photographs and photomontage. Born in Switzerland, Frank grew…
Biography: Documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White

Biography: Documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White (1904 – 1971) was an American documentary photographer. Margaret Bourke-White was one of the most famous and most successful photographers of her time. Her combination of intelligence, talent, ambition, and flexibility made her an ideal contributor to the new group journalism that developed during the thirties. Bourke-White was already noted as a photographer of industrial subjects when she…
Biography: Documentary photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Biography: Documentary photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902 – 2002) was Mexico’s first principal artistic photographer and is the most important figure in 20th-century Latin American photography. He was born and raised in Mexico City. While he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography is self-taught. His career spanned from the late 1920s to the 1990s with is artistic peak…
Biography: City Life/Street photographer Louis Faurer

Biography: City Life/Street photographer Louis Faurer

Born in 1916 to immigrant parents from the Russian/Polish border, Louis Faurer’s childhood, in a South Philadelphia neighborhood of mostly Italian and Jewish immigrants, was not easy. “There were problems of survival,” he once said. After graduating from the South Philadelphia High School for Boys in 1934, he spent a few summers as caricature artist in Atlantic City, New Jersey.…
Biography: People/Portrait photographer Pedro Luis Raota

Biography: People/Portrait photographer Pedro Luis Raota

Pedro Luis Raota (1934-1986) was an Argentinian photographer. At a young age he sold his bicycle to buy a camera, determined to learn the art of photography. He quickly took up portrait photography in Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz and later moved to Villaguary where he enthusiastically set up his own studio. Since his first recognition in 1958, he…
Biography: Paul Strand

Biography: Paul Strand

Paul Strand (1890 – 1976). When he was 17 years old, he began taking photography courses, studying under famed photographer Lewis Hine. During his training, Strand also became acquainted with Alfred Stieglitz, whose 291 Gallery in New York provided inspiration for Strand and other aspiring modernist photographers and artists. A turning point in his career came in 1915 when he…
Biography: Documentary photographer Lala Deen Dayal

Biography: Documentary photographer Lala Deen Dayal

Lala Deen Dayal (1844–1905) was an Indian photographer. An engineer by education, Dayal was drawn to photography as early as 1875. Those were early days of photography, and Deen Dayal used primitive equipment and chemicals. His first patron was Maharaja Tukoji Rao II of Indore, who introduced him to Sir Henry Daly, the British Agent at Indore, which eventually led…
Biography: Abstract photographer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Biography: Abstract photographer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (July 20, 1895 – November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. Laszlo Moholy-Nagy possessed one of the liveliest and most versatile minds to come out of the revolution…
Biography: Portrait photographer Julia Margaret Cameron

Biography: Portrait photographer Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron (11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes. Julia was a largely talented, highly intelligent, free-spirited, eccentric, financially comfortable English woman who took up photography as a personal adventure, as she might have taken…
Biography: Portrait photographer Nadar

Biography: Portrait photographer Nadar

Nadar was the pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (6 April 1820 – 23 March 1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, and balloonist. He is remembered as a photographer, for the portraits that he made of his great contemporaries. The Museum’s print of the Taylor portrait is a woodburytype, a kind of print in which the image is formed by ink…
Biography: Ken Domon

Biography: Ken Domon

Ken Domon (25 October 1909 – 15 September 1990) is one of the most renowned Japanese photographers of the 20th century. He is most celebrated as a photojournalist, though he may have been most prolific as a photographer of Buddhist temples and statuary. After WW2 Domon started with documenting the aftermath of the war, focusing on society and the lives…
Biography: Minor White

Biography: Minor White

Minor White (July 9, 1908 – June 24, 1976) was an American photographer born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minor White earned a degree in Botany with a minor in English from the University of Minnesota in 1933. His first creative efforts were in poetry, as he took five years thereafter to complete a sequence of 100 sonnets while working as a…
Biography: Architecture photographer Jan Bulhak

Biography: Architecture photographer Jan Bulhak

Jan Bułhak (1876–1950) was a pioneer of photography in Poland and present-day Belarus and Lithuania, and one of the best-known Polish photographers of the early 20th century. A theoretician and philosopher of photography, he was among the most prominent exponents of pictorialism. He is best known for his landscapes and photographs of various places, especially the city of Vilnius (then…
Biography: Imogen Cunningham

Biography: Imogen Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham (April 12, 1883 – June 24, 1976) was an American photographer known for her botanical photography, nudes, and industrial landscapes. In 1901, having sent away $15 for her first camera, she commenced what would become the longest photographic career in the history of the medium. Cunningham soon turned her attention to both the nude as well as native…
Biography: People photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue

Biography: People photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue

Jacques Henri Lartigue (June 13, 1894 – September 12, 1986) was a French photographer and painter, most famous for his photographs of automobile races, planes and fashionable Parisian women. Presented with his first camera at seven, he illustrated a witty, sophisticated, and detailed large-format diary of his life (in some 125 volumes) with thousands of photographs. Lartigue was a privileged…