Atget Photography - The Photographers

The Photographers

Eugene Atget (French, 1857-1927)

Eugene Atget

The life and the intention of Eugene Atget are fundamentally unknown to us. A few documented facts and a handful of recollections and legends provide a scant outline of the man.

Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991)

Berenice Abbott

In 1926 she opened her own portrait studio, and for the next three years photographed with honesty and grace the great and the famous of that Pari's intellectual world.

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)

Ansel Adams

A landscape does not move in the conventional sense, but it changes constantly in other ways, most notably through the agency of light.
Ansel Adams attuned himself more precisely than any photographer before him to a visual understanding of the specific quality of the light that fell on a specific place at a specific moment.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002)

Manuel Alvarez Bravo

Manuel Alvarez Bravo was born in the City of Mexico, behind the cathedral, near the place where the temples of the ancient Mexican gods once stood.

Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)

Diane Arbus

In a working life less than a decade Diane Arbus effected a profound reconsideration of photography's intensions. Her work turned away from the central concerns of the preceding generation.

Richard Avedon (American, 1923-2004)

Richard Avedon

Even in the early years of his work as a fashion photographer, Richard Avedon was much interested in motion, or rather in the sense of motion, since his interest was not analytical but hortatory.

E. J. Bellocq (American, 1873-1949)

E. J. Bellocq

He was regarded by his acquaintances as no more than a competent commercial photographer. But Bellocq had also had a secret life. After his death a collection of about one hundred plates was discovered in a drawer of his desk.

Margaret Bourke-White (American, 1904-1971)

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White was one of the most famous and most successful photographers of her time. Her combination of intelligence, talent, ambition, and flexibility made her an ideal contributor to the new group journalism that developed during the thirties.

Bill Brandt (British, 1905-1983)

Bill Brandt

Nonartists often misunderstand the nature of artistic tradition, and imagine it to be something similar to a fortress, within which eternal verity is protected from the present.

BRASSAI (French, born Transylvania, 1899-1984)


In the early thirties he set about photographing the night of Paris, especially at its more colorful and more disreputable levels.

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)

Harry Callahan

Harry Callahan's work is an exception, for it draws us ever more insistently inward toward the center of Callahan's private sensibility.

Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879)

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron was a largely talented, highly intelligent, free-spirited, eccentric, financially comfortable English woman who took up photography as a personal adventure, as she might have taken up philanthropy or rose culture.

Robert Capa (American, born Hungary, 1913-1954)

Robert Capa

In his short life Robert Capa photographed five wars, beginning in Spain in 1936, and finishing in 1954 during the French phase of the Indo-China War, when he stepped on a land mine.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004)

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson has described himself as a photojournalist, a label doubtless no more misleading than any other available.

Imogen Cunningham (American, 1883-1976)

Imogen Cunningham

Cunningham's spectacularly handsome picture remains exciting because it avoids the vacuous predictability that identifies so many of these design-in-mother-nature photographs.

Bruce Davidson (American, 1933-)

Bruce Davidson

It was many years before sophisticated photographers began to pursue with intention the clues that the casual amateur had provided by accident. When the attempt was finally made, it meant the beginning of a new adventure for photography.

Robert Doisneau (French, 1912-1994)

Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau is one of the few whose work has demonstrated that even in a time of large terrors, the ancient weaknesses and sweet venial sins of ordinary individuals have survived.

Ken Domon (Japanese, 1909-1990)

Ken Domon

Ken Domon broke away from this romantic convention, and demonstrated that a clear depiction of the pertinent facts could be more challenging, and more surprising, than another mountain view in the mist.

Elliott Erwitt (American, born France, 1928-)

Elliott Erwitt

The only way in which this criticism might in theory be met with reference to Erwitt's photograph would be to claim that the picture demonstrates some general philosophic truth.

Walker Evans (American, 1903-1975)

Walker Evans

His work constitutes a personal survey of the interior resources of the American tradition, a survey based on a sensibility that found poetry and complexity where most earlier travelers had found only drab statistics or fairy tales.

Robert Frank (American, born Switzerland, 1924- )

Robert Frank

The subject matter of Frank's pictures was not in itself shocking. Everyone knew about chromium and plastic luncheonettes, and tailfins and jukeboxes and motels and motorcycles and the rest of it. But no one had accepted without condescension these facts as the basis for a coherent iconography for our time.

Lee Friedlander (American, 1937- )

Lee Friedlander

When Lee Friedlander made the photograph reproduced here he was playing a kind of game. The game is of undetermined social utility and might on the surface seem almost frivolous.

Lewis Hine (American, 1874-1940)

Lewis Hine

Much of Hine's work is not a protest but a celebration of people who had nerve, skill, muscle, and tenacity. There is in his pictures little pity and much love and respect for those who were casually called the common people.

Gertrude Kasebier (American, 1852-1934)

Gertrude Kasebier

The picture's true content, however, has to do less with widowhood than with the visual mechanics of picture construction. On these grounds it is a highly sophisticated and challenging picture.

Andre Kertesz (American, born Hungary, 1894-1985)

Andre Kertesz

Perhaps more than any other photographer, Andre Kertesz discovered and demonstrated the special aesthetic of the small camera.

Josef Koudelka (Czech, 1939- )

Josef Koudelka

Josef Koudelka has spent as much as possible of his life as a photographer making pictures of the Romani (Gypsies) of Eastern Europe.

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965)

Dorothea Lange

Dorothea Lange was marvelous with sunlight, and she was also marvelous with gesture.

Jacques Henri Lartigue (French, 1894-1986)

Jacques Henri Lartigue

Lartigue was a privileged child, and he made the best of it. From the subjects of his pictures one would assume that the life of his family was dedicated wholly to the pursuit of amusement.

Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009)

Helen Levitt

During the early 1940's Helen Levitt made many photographs on the streets of New York. Her photographs were not intended to tell a story or document a social thesis; she worked in poor neighborhoods because there were people there, and a street life that was richly sociable and visually interesting.

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy (American, born Hungary, 1895-1946)

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Laszlo Moholy-Nagy possessed one of the liveliest and most versatile minds to come out of the revolution in artistic thinking that occurred in Europe after the First World War.

Eadweard Muybridge (American, born England, 1830-1904)

Eadweard Muybridge

Muybridge's most important motion studies were published in 1887 as Animal Locomotion, a collection of 781 plates that described, in sequential frames, human beings and other creatures engaged in diverse characteristic activities.

Nadar (French, 1820-1910)


Nadar was a writer, a caricaturist, a balloonist, a part-time political activist, a photographer, and a friend of the painters, writers, and intellectuals in Paris during the time of Napoleon III.

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (American, Born Ireland, 1840-1882)

Timothy H. O'Sullivan

Timothy H. O'Sullivan was perhaps the best of the Civil War photographers, and he was better still when he went west after the War as photographer for the government explorations.

Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)

Irving Penn

The best fashion photography has often indulged a similar taste for make-believe, and harmless (or almost harmless) mendacity. Irving Penn's simple little picture of a beautiful model in a fancy dress is a masterpiece of the genre.

Man Ray (American, 1890-1976)

Man Ray

It is perhaps appropriate to note here that there is no satisfactory and simple definition of the word photography that is not a tautology: e.g., photography is the process by which photographs are made.

Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, 1891-1956)

Alexander Rodchenko

Rodchenko was one of the most important of the modern Russian artists who emerged after the revolution. He was a distinguished avant-garde painter, graphic designer, and photographer during the heady period of the twenties in Russia, when artists' faith in the revolution had not yet seriously eroded.

August Sander (German, 1876-1964)

August Sander

Early in his career, perhaps after tiring of prizes that were too easily won, August Sander set for himself a problem that ranks among the most ambitious in the history of photography.

Tatsuya Sato (Japanese, 1952- )

Tatsuya Sato

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Tatsuya Sato's artistic background is learning from the people, books & films, local galleries, and nature on the road.

W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)

Eugene Smith

By the mid-forties it seemed to most talented young photographers that the future of the medium lay with the great new mass magazines.

Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879-1973)

Edward Steichen

When in 1963 Edward Steichen prepared his autobiography A Life in Photography, he selected 241 of his own pictures to be reproduced. The earliest had been made in 1895, the most recent in 1959. The span of time that they bridged represented over half of the total history of photography.

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)

Alfred Stieglitz

Stieglitz lived at least three lifetimes as a photographer, each producing a body of work that was formidable and distinct from others.

Paul Strand (American, 1890-1976)

Paul Strand

In 1917 Paul Strand said that if one were to use photography honestly he must have "a real respect for the thing in front of him," which he would express "through a range of almost infinite tonal values which lie beyond the skill of human hand."

Edward Weston (American, 1886-1958)

Edward Weston

Photography is a matter of eyes, intuition, and intellect. For eyes and intuition, no photographer was ever more richly endowed than Edward Weston.

Minor White (American, 1908-1976)

Minor White

The photographer of the past generation who has most tellingly pursued this aspect of Stieglitz's thought is Minor White.

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984)

Garry Winogrand

Consider Garry Winogrand's picture: so rich in fact and suggestion, and so justly resolved, more complex and more beautiful than the movie that Alfred Hitchcock might derive from it.

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