Erwin Blumenfeld

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  • Topic: Photography, Fashion magazines, Patrick Demarchelier
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  • Published : September 29, 2011
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Erwin Blumenfeld

Erwin Blumenfeld was a Berlin born American photographer. He was born in Berlin on January 26 1897 to Emma Cohn and Albert Blumenfeld. In 1907, his mother Emma bought him camera as a gift. Erwin then began to experiments enthusiastically with a chemistry set and a magic lantern. In 1911 he took interest Photographic self-portraits using a mirror to obtain simultaneous frontal and profile views

Blumenfeld moved to Holland late 1918. Blumenfeld married Lena Citroen in Holland in 1921 and had three children there: Lisette, Henry Alexander and Frank Yorick. In 1923 he opens the ‘Fox Leather Company’, specialising in handbags in Amsterdam. A few years later he discovers a darkroom and begins to photograph female customers. Exhibits at the Kunstzaal van Lier in Amsterdam and submits work to the Ullstein Verlag publishing house in Berlin for appraisal, without success. Then later in 1935, his company went completely bankrupt and her was left without confidence. In 1937, when moving to Paris Blumenfeld started to find great success in photography and advertisement, and the pictures he took sent him off to be one of the most renowned fashion photographers of all time.

He was one of the most successful fashion photographers of the first half of the 20th century. Blumenfeld was talented in many areas, including drawing, painting, writing, and constructing Dadaistic collages. In the 1930s, he published collages mocking Adolf Hitler because of his experiences during the holocaust. In 1936, he emigrated to Paris. With the German occupation, he was interned in a concentration camp in 1940 because he was Jewish. In 1941, he could escape to the USA. He then became a US citizen in 1946.

Blumenfeld became famous for his fashion photography, working for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, and also for artistic nude photography. From 1934 to 1939, he published photos in well known fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. His first photography show...
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