Portrait

Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Biography: Pioneer of Mug Shot – Alphonse Bertillon

Alphonse Bertillon (1853 – 1914) was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical measurements. This system, invented in 1879, became known as the Bertillon system, or bertillonage, and quickly gained wide acceptance as a reliable, scientific method of criminal investigation. In 1884 alone,…
Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton

Biography: Fashion, Portrait and War photographer Cecil Beaton

Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904 – 1980) was an English fashion, portrait and war photographer. Beaton’s interest in photography began when, as a young boy, he admired portraits of society women and actresses circulated on picture postcards and in Sunday supplements of newspapers. When he got his first camera at age 11, his nurse taught him how to use…
Biography: Portrait photographer Laure Albin Guillot

Biography: Portrait photographer Laure Albin Guillot

Laure Albin Guillot (1879 – 1962) was a French photographer. In 1897 she married Dr Albin Guillot, a specialist in microscopy. Working from her studio at her home on Rue du Ranelagh, she published her first fashion photographs in the French edition of Vogue in 1922. From 1924 to 1950, she exhibited regularly at the Salon international de photographie and…
Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) was born in New York. He earned a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he produced artwork in a variety of media, mainly collage. The shift to photography as Mapplethorpe’s sole means of expression happened gradually during the mid-seventies. He took his first photographs of his close friend, the singer-artist-poet Patti Smith, using a Polaroid camera,…
Biography: Street/Portrait photographer Christer Strömholm

Biography: Street/Portrait photographer Christer Strömholm

Christer Strömholm (1918 – 2002 in Stockholm), was a Swedish photographer and educator. He is known for his intimate black and white street photography portrait series. Strömholm discovered photography via graphic art in the late 1940s. His photographs from this period are hard black-and-white compositions featuring walls, shadows and minimalist settings. During his sojourns in Paris in the 1950s and…
Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Andre de Dienes

Biography: Nudes/Portrait photographer Andre de Dienes

Andre de Dienes (1913 – 1985) was a Romanian American photographer, noted for his work with Marilyn Monroe and his nude photography. Born in Romania, André De Dienes arrived in Paris in 1933, making a living of selling photographs to publishing houses. He worked for The Associated Press until 1936 when the famous Parisian couturier, Edward Molyneux, encouraged De Dienes…
Biography: Pictorial Portrait photographer William Mortensen

Biography: Pictorial Portrait photographer William Mortensen

William Mortensen (1897-1965) was an American art photographer, primarily known for his Hollywood portraits in the 1920s-1940s in the pictorialist style. Mortensen began his photographic career taking portraits of Hollywood actors and film stills. In 1931 he moved to the artist community of Laguna Beach, California, where he opened a studio and the William Mortensen School of Photography. He preferred…
Biography: Portrait photographer Helmar Lerski

Biography: Portrait photographer Helmar Lerski

Helmar Lerski (1871-1956) who was born in Strasbourg in 1871 as Israel Schmuklerski and whose hometown was Zurich, is among the international classic photographers in the history of the medium. The Schmuklerski family settled in Zurich in 1876. Helmar’s father, a small-time textile dealer, was “the first Polish Jew” to be granted the civil rights of the City of Zurich.…
Biography: Portrait photographer Philippe Halsman

Biography: Portrait photographer Philippe Halsman

Halsman (1906 – 1979) grew up in Riga, Latvia, in a family of assimilated Jews and studied engineering at a university in Dresden. Two years after his graduation, he moved to Paris, turned his photographic hobby into a profession, and opened his own portrait studio, specializing in fashion and theater portraits. A few years later, with the threat of World War…
Biography: Pictorial Portrait photographer Rudolph Eickemeyer Jr

Biography: Pictorial Portrait photographer Rudolph Eickemeyer Jr

Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr. (August 7, 1862 – April 25, 1932) was an American pictorialist photographer, active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rudolf Eickemeyer’s photography combined the technological calculation of his engineer father and the aestheticism of the amateur photography clubs that nurtured his art in the 1880s. Purchasing his first camera in 1884, Eickemeyer devoured the ample…
Biography: XIX Century Portrait photographer Napoleon Sarony

Biography: XIX Century Portrait photographer Napoleon Sarony

Napoleon Sarony (1821 – 1896) was an American lithographer and photographer. Sarony was one of the first photographers to start paying well known individuals to pose for him and then having the rights to sell their photos for profit. Sarony usually wrote personal letters to the celebrities inviting them to his studio for a photo session. In 1871, Samuel Clemens,…
Biography: Portrait photographer Emile Gsell

Biography: Portrait photographer Emile Gsell

Emile Gsell (1838 – 1879) was a French photographer who worked in Southeast Asia, becoming the first commercial photographer based in Saigon. He participated in at least three scientific expeditions, and the images he produced from the first, to Angkor, are amongst the earliest photographs of that site. Though he died at an early age he managed to make several…
Biography: Portrait photographer James Abbe

Biography: Portrait photographer James Abbe

James Abbe (1883 – 1973) was an American photographer. Abbe had a remarkable talent for inspiring trust in stars and Lillian Gish convinced him to come to Italy in 1923 to work as a lighting consultant and still photographer for “The White Sister.” He closed his Broadway studio, abandoned his wife and children, and moved to Italy. He spent the…
Biography: Polish pioneer photographer Maksymilian Fajans

Biography: Polish pioneer photographer Maksymilian Fajans

Maksymilian Fajans (1825–1890) was educated in the Academy of Fine Arts and Parisian studios of local artists and was initially interested in drawing and lithography. In 1862, he became intrigued by the more and more trendy invention of photography. He was a portraitist and a documentarian. As a photoreporter he captured the – often now destroyed – developments of Warsaw:…
Biography: Portrait photographer Mary Ellen Mark

Biography: Portrait photographer Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark (1940 – 2015) has achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions and editorial magazine work. She has published photo-essays and portraits in such publications as LIFE, New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. For over four decades, she has traveled extensively to make pictures that reflect a high degree of humanism.…
Biography: Fashion/Portrait photographer Herb Ritts

Biography: Fashion/Portrait photographer Herb Ritts

Herbert Ritts (August 13, 1952 – December 26, 2002) was an American fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white photography and portraits. Ritts began his photographic career in the late 70’s and gained a reputation as a master of art and commercial photography. In addition to producing portraits and editorial fashion for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Interview and Rolling Stone, Ritts also…
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: 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…