PHILIPPE HALSMAN (1906-1979)

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MARILYN MONROE, 1952 by PHILIPPE HALSMAN (1906-1979) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

MARILYN MONROE, 1952

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P.O.A

   

Philippe Halsman was born in Latvia on 2 May 1906, to middle-class, Jewish parents. Although he was introduced to art at a young age, he didn't become interested in photography until later in life.

In 1928, while studying engineering in Dresden, Germany, Halsman was accused of killing his father while the two of them were on a hiking tour in Austria. He was charged with patricide and sentenced to four years in prison. Because he was Jewish, there was significant publicity surrounding the trial and Albert Einstein campaigned for his innocence. Upon his release from prison in 1931, he was exiled from Austria and moved to France, where he discovered a taste for photography. He started shooting for the fashion magazine 'Vogue', and established a reputation as a portrait photographer.

In 1940, with the help of Einstein, Halsman fled to the United States, escaping the invasion of France and Hitler's growing anti-Semitism. In 1941, Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador DalĂ­. Throughout the following decade, the two artists formed a strong friendship and collaborated on a large photography portfolio. In 1942, Halsman secured a contract with the American cosmetics company, Elizabeth Arden. Soon after which, he began shooting covers for 'Life Magazine'.

Halsman enjoyed an extremely successful career, photographing many celebrities, including Alfred Hitchcock, Judy Garland, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, President John F Kennedy and his friend, Albert Einstein. In 1958, the magazine, 'Popular Photography', placed Halsman in a list of the World's Ten Greatest Photographers'. In 1975, he received the Life Achievement in Photography award, granted by the American Society of Magazine Photographers.

Philippe Halsman died in New York City on 25 June 1979.

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