September 25, 2023

Owl Puss

Find Yourself

The Tribulations of Erwin Blumenfeld, 1930-1950

The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (mahJ) provides the exhibition The Tribulations of Erwin Blumenfeld, 1930-1950. Our edition nowadays is committed to Blumenfeld, one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century. An experimenter and innovator, he generated an in depth physique of do the job which includes drawings, collages, portraits and nudes, celebrity portraits, advertising campaigns and his renowned fashion photography both in black and white and color. With many many thanks to Nadia Blumenfeld-Charbit for her enable in creating this unique version.
Jean-Jacques Naudet


“As I experienced no other answer remaining, I became a photographer. Anyone dissuaded me. Unsuccessful painters grew to become window display screen designer, unsuccessful window display designer turned photographers. But photographer, what a drop!“
Erwin Blumenfeld, Jadis and Daguerre – eds. Babel, 2022

In the 1940s, at pretty much fifty, Erwin Blumenfeld set up himself in New York as a main trend photographer. His images ended up on the include of many journals, together with Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and remained references. Before acquiring this accomplishment, Blumenfeld expert a tormented fate. Born in Berlin in 1897 into the integrated Jewish bourgeoisie, he was promised better education and learning. But the disappearance of his father in 1913 lessened the household to wreck, and he entered an apprenticeship in a apparel household. Mobilized in 1916, he worked as an ambulance driver, carting corpses, then accountant in a army brothel in the countryside. In 1918, his brother Heinz died on the front, and Erwin was almost shot for desertion, ahead of becoming a member of his fiancée, Lena Citroen, in Amsterdam. There, he created a living by opening a leather products organization and seeking to locate himself in art before devoting himself thoroughly to pictures from 1932. He still left the Netherlands for Paris in 1936 and, when he broke into trend photography , the war and the Occupation plunged him into two many years of wandering and internment in numerous camps in France and Morocco. In August 1941, he managed not without having difficulty to get to the United States with his household.

The 1930s and 1940s are all those of the revelation of his expertise, served by initial and considerable artistic experiments, pursued with the similar fervor from Paris to New York. Immediately after beginnings within the Dada movement, marked by visionary photomontages on Nazism, Blumenfeld developed a do the job considerably from the difficulties of time. He was impressed by the shooting approaches of the “New Vision”, which he extended and renewed in the course of laboratory printing: solarisations, reticulations, superimpositions, mirrors and optical consequences, online games of shadow and mild so kind a grammar at the support of a work exactly where feminine attractiveness and the nude occupy a central position. In the United States, he turned a pioneer in the area of colour photography, conducive to new activities.

The exhibition sheds gentle on this fruitful period of time for the photographer, and reveals new series, these as the reportage on a gypsy family members in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, or that on Indigenous American dances in New Mexico. In the footsteps of the photographer, whose destiny was finally satisfied, it reveals an emblematic journey as that of a lot of European Jewish artists in the turmoil of the 20th century.


Curators: Nadia Blumenfeld-Charbit and Nicolas Feuillie


Les Tribulations d’Erwin Blumenfeld, 1930-1950
Right up until March 5, 2023
mahJ : Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme
Hôtel de Saint-Aignan
71 Rue du Temple
75003 Paris, France

Catalog : Les Tribulations d’Erwin Blumenfeld. Eds. mahJ/NMR 2022