Nov 01, 2017 | By Laura Welch
In the canon of 20th century fashion photographers, Erwin Blumenfeld ranks at the top alongside contemporaries like Cecil Beaton. The German-born photographer’s work is the subject of a new exhibit at Somerset House, “Blumenfield Studio: New York, 1941-1960,” tracing the latter part of his career after he fled occupied Paris in 1941 for the Big Apple- and flourished shooting editorial, covers (50 for Vogue throughout his career), and portraits for Harper’s Bazaar (then with Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland at the helm), Vogue, Cosmopolitan, LIFE, and countless other publications and advertising clients. Over 90 restored, original prints feature in the exhibition, which is sure to shock some with its modernism: swap out the period fashions and these images would be right at home in magazines today, so progressive was Blumfeld’s vision and distinctive aesthetic.
Curated by Nadia Blumenfeld Charbit, François Cheval and Ute Eskildsen, images in this exhibit featured at the 2012 Festival d’Hyères and in a dedicated exhibit conceived for the Musée Nicéphore Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône, France.
Blumenfeld Studio: New York, 1941-1960 is on view through 1 September 2013 in the East Wing Galleries, from 10am-6pm daily, *free* admission. Below, a series of our favorite images, courtesy of ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld.
Lilian Macusson for the cover of American Vogue ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Evelyn Tripp in a Dior Sargent dress (variant of photograph in American Vogue November 1949) ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Spring Fashion 1953 for Vogue ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Grace Kelly 1955 for Cosmopolitan ©The Estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
Support for the Red Cross for the cover of American Vogue March 1945 ©The estate of Erwin Blumenfeld
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