“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
NEW YORK, March 3, 2017
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. One of the most influential figures in modernist photography, the German-born, Brandt emigrated to London in 1934. Having studied in the studio of Man Ray in Paris before coming to England, Brandt’s photography revealed an eye for the surreal in everyday life. Brandt first came to attention for his Depression Era photographs of 20th century English life at both ends of the social spectrum, but he is best remembered for his iconic images of the nude from the 1950s. With the advent of the World War and the Blitz, Brandt photographed London in the blackout, and began his photojournalist career shooting for magazines including Lilliput, The Picture Post and Harper’s Bazaar, under the art direction of Alexey Brodovitch and Carmel Snow, the editor in chief.
This series of over 50 photographs comes from the Estate of Carmel Snow, the legendary editor of Harper’s Bazaar (US) from 1933 to 1958. Carmel Snow, commissioned these shoots of city and country life, literary places, churches and portraits directly from Brandt, and several of the photos retain the captioning copy on verso, with most having been published in Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1945 and 1946. Snow was notable as 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 Snow commissioned Brandt, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, Avedon, Beaton and others to illustrate the magazine over the years, thereby revolutionizing fashion and editorial photography into the realm of art.
The New Yorker Profile of Carmel Snow