Erwin Blumenfeld


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Edited by Ute Eskildsen

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A revelatory book about the life and work of an important fashion photographer and artist

Erwin Blumenfeld (1897–1969) was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. His work offers a unique perspective on the society and politics of the 1930s through the 60s.  Born in Berlin, Blumenfeld’s peripatetic career took him first to Amsterdam and then to Paris, where his work in fashion photography began at Vogue in 1938.  After two years in a French concentration camp, he made his way to the United States and established himself as an eminent fashion photographer.  Over one hundred of his photographs featured on the covers of prominent fashion and general interest magazines, including  Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Look, and Cosmopolitan. Often minimalist, mainly in color, these photographs testify to Blumenfeld’s lifelong interest in experimentation.
This landmark publication broadens our understanding of Blumenfeld’s innovations, reuniting all the media used by the artist throughout his long career: drawing, photography, photomontage, and collage. The motifs of his experimental, sometimes overtly political, black-and-white photographs appear alongside numerous self-portraits and celebrity portraits, as well as the fashion photographs for which he is most known.  Presenting some 150 images, this book provides a fresh understanding of Blumenfeld’s photography for the commercial worlds of fashion and advertising.

Distributed for Editions Hazan, Paris

Exhibition Schedule:

Jeu de Paume


Ute Eskildsen is deputy director and head of the photography collections for the Museum Folkwang, Essen.


Jeu de Paume


“The book published to coincide with the exhibition is a well-researched compendium of essays, with 150 images, that touch on the many aspects of Blumenfeld’s oeuvre. His personal history is also a history of Europe, European and American modernism, of modernist art and design; the universal co-exists with the particular.”—Juliet Steyn, The Jewish Chronicle

"This catalogue for the first retrospective in France emphasizes his European Dada and surrealist by featuring 200 early drawings, collages and montages, and art and fashion portraiture influenced by Man Ray."—R.T. Clement, CHOICE
ISBN: 9780300199383
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Publishing Partner: Distributed for Editions Hazan, Paris
240 pages, 8 1/2 x 10 3/4
90 color + 90 b/w illus.