Arnold Newman (1918-2006), an accomplished American photographer renowned for popularizing the 'environmental portrait,' seamlessly blended artistry with authenticity throughout his career. Intrigued by the essence of artists in their natural habitats, he captured the lives of artists, athletes, and celebrities, framing them within the familiar space of their homes or workplaces. His images resonate with a sense of depth and respect for the subjects and their relationship with their surroundings, contributing significantly to the canonization of this portrait style, which is now universally acknowledged.
Born in New York City in 1918, moving later to Miami and Atlantic City, where his artist path unfolded. Newman was awarded a scholarship in 1936 to study art at the University of Miami, a pivotal step that unfolded the pages of his remarkable career. In 1936, he was given a scholarship to study art at the University of Miami. Post-graduation, he ventured to Philadelphia, where his lens captured the world as a 49-cent portrait photographer. In this period, he crossed paths with influential figures like Alexy Brodovitch, Harper’s Bazaar’s art director, and the esteemed photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who provided him with his first show. In 1946, Newman moved to New York City, establishing his studio and earning a membership in the American Society of Magazine Photographers. From this point onward, he dedicated himself to honing and expanding his portfolio of environmental portraits until the end of his career.
Newman's first big show was at the A.D. gallery in 1941, sponsored by Stieglitz. 1945, he had his first solo titled "Artist Look Like This" at the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art. His work is housed and a part of many permanent collections at locations worldwide – The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the George Eastman House, New York; The Chicago Art Institute; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The National Portrait Gallery; The Tate and many others. He has received numerous awards from The American Society of Media Photographers, The International Center of Photography, The Lucie Award, The Royal Photographic Society Centenary Aware, and The Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters; in 2005, he was named by Photo District News as one of the 25 most influential living photographers. In 2006, he was awarded The Gold Medal for photography by the National Arts Club and has received nine honorary doctorates.
Arnold NewmanStravinsky, December 1, 1946Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1940s-early 1950s5 1/4 x 9 1/8 in (13.3 x 23.2 cm)
Arnold NewmanPortrait of György Kepes, 1965Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 19655 x 9 5/8 in (12.7 x 24.4 cm)
Mount: 12 1/4 x 15 in.
Arnold NewmanPortrait of György Kepes, 1965Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 19656 1/8 x 9 5/8 in (15.6 x 24.4 cm)
Mount: 12 1/4 x 15 in.