Bill Brandt

Photographs from WWII and the 1940s

May 2 – June 2, 2013

Kathleen White, Chip Holman

Bill Brandt Photographs from the 1940s and WWII at William Holman Gallery

“This should be the photographer’s aim, for this is the purpose that pictures fulfill in the world as it is today. To meet a need that people cannot or will not meet for themselves.”
– Bill Brandt

Photographs from 1940s and WW II from the Estate of Carmel Snow
May 2 – June 2, 2013

NEW YORK, May 2, 2013 –
William Holman Gallery is proud to present a collection of gelatin silver prints made by Bill Brandt (1904 – 1983) from the late 1930s through the months following the end of World War II. Born in Germany, Brandt immigrated to Britain in 1934; his photographs of British life would lead him to become one of the most influential figures in modernist photography. Having studied with Man Ray in Paris, Brandt’s photographs capture elements of the surreal in the everyday. He came to prominence for his Depression Era photographs of 20th century English life from both ends of the social spectrum, but he is best remembered for his iconic nudes from the 1950s. With the advent of the World War and the Blitz, Brandt photographed London during the blackout, publishing his 1938 book A Night in London. During this time, he began his photojournalistic career shooting for magazines including Lilliput, Picture Post, and Harper’s Bazaar then under the art direction of Alexey Brodovitch and editorship of Carmel Snow.
This series of over 50 photographs comes from the Estate of Carmel Snow, Harper’s Bazaar editor-in-chief from 1933 to 1958. Of this collection, Carmel Snow commissioned many of Brandt’s portraits, shoots of city and country life, homes and churches (several of the photos retain the captioning copy on verso). Most were published in Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1945 and 1946. Snow was the first major magazine editor to widely use fine art photographers for travel, photo-journalism and fashion. In her 25 year tenure at Harper’s Bazaar Snow commissioned Brandt, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, Avedon, Beaton and others, thereby elevating editorial photography into the realm of art.

Exhibition Catalogue:


Carmel Snow Years 1933 -1957
140 Years of Harper's Bazaar