Teddy, Blumenfeld

Erwin Blumenfeld

B. Germany, 1897-1969

The Works



Erwin Blumenfeld

Wet Veil

c. 1937

Silver gelatin print on ferrotyped paper, printed later


Erwin Blumenfeld

Teddy Thurman, New York


Silver gelatin print, printed c. 1945

Erwin Blumenfeld

B. Germany1897-1969

B. Germany1897-1969


Influenced by George Grosz and the German Dadaist movement, Blumenfeld experimented with collage, often combining his own photographs with magazine cuttings. Blumenfeld was also hugely influenced by Man Ray, and began his own experiments in his darkroom, using techniques such as multiple exposures and solarisation.

Blumenfeld moved to the United States at the beginning of WWII, working for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.  His highly stylistic fashion photography helped shape the look of the 1940s and 50s. His first double-page spread was in 1944, and featured his daughter Lisette’s legs. One of his most dramatic and experimental fashion shots reduced his model Jean Patchett to a pair of lips, a beauty spot, and one single eye. It was used as the cover of Vogue in 1950, and is now considered one of the magazine’s most iconic covers. From his early black and white nudes to his colourful and glossy fashion photography of the 1950s and 60s, he consistently pushed both stylistic and technical boundaries.

Blumenfeld was born in Berlin in 1897. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, in the Pompidou Gallery in Paris, the Barbican in London, the Hague Museum of Photography in the Netherlands and the Jewish Museum in New York. 



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