Erwin Blumenfeld


During his apprenticeship to a Berlin fashion studio from 1913 on, Erwin Blumenfeld (American, born German, 1897–1969) met Else Lasker-Schüler, George Grosz, and the Expressionists. In 1918 he deserted the German army and fled to Holland, where he worked as a bookseller and, with his childhood friend Paul Citroen, became active in the Dada movement. Around 1932 he began to photograph professionally and relocated in 1936 to Paris, where he worked as a fashion photographer. In addition to work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue he experimented with collage, solarization, and multiple exposures. In 1941 he fled to the US and became one of the most successful fashion photographers of his time. He also wrote his autobiography Jadis et Daguerre (Durch tausendjährige Zeit), published posthumously in 1975.