During his lifetime, Philippe Halsman
(American/Latvian, 1906–1979) produced portraits of iconic individuals that graced the pages and covers of popular publications, such as LIFE
. Through these images, he became one of the most significant and recognizable photographers of the mid-20th century. Born in Riga, Latvia, Halsman initially studied electrical engineering in Dresden before moving to Paris, where he set up his first photography studio. While in France, Halsman gained notoriety for his bold, sharp images that broke from previous tradition of fuzzy romanticized portraiture. With the help of his close friend Albert Einstein, Halsman was able to escape Europe during the war and immigrate to New York in 1940.
While in New York, Halsman started collaborations with other émigré artists, such as Salvador Dalí
, with whom he collaborated to create two of his most famous images, Dalí Atomicus
and Voluptas Mors
. In 1958, Halsman was listed by Popular Photography
as one of the world’s 10 greatest photographers, and, in 1975, he received the Life Achievement in Photography Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers. His work is in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among many others.