Andreas Feininger

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"The Photojournalist" may be Feininger's best-known photograph, he took this now-iconic image of photojournalist Dennis Stock for Life Magazine in 1951
View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado, 1942, a photograph taken when Feininger was an employee of the Office of War Information (OWI)
Creede, Colorado in 1942, another OWI photograph by Feininger

Andreas Bernhard Lyonel Feininger (27 December 1906 – 18 February 1999) was an American photographer and a writer on photographic technique. He was noted for his dynamic black-and-white scenes of Manhattan and for studies of the structures of natural objects.


Feininger was born in Paris, France, to Julia Berg and Lyonel Feininger, an American of German origin. A painter, his father was born in New York City, in 1871.[1] His great-grandfather emigrated from Durlach, Baden, in Germany, to the United States in 1848. His younger brother was the painter, T. Lux Feininger (1910-2011), who had begun his professional career as a photographer.[2]

Feininger grew up and was educated as an architect in Germany, where his father painted and taught, at Staatliches Bauhaus. In 1936, he gave up architecture and moved to Sweden, where he focused on photography. In advance of World War II, in 1939, Feininger immigrated to the U.S. where he established himself as a freelance photographer. In 1943 he joined the staff of Life magazine, an association that lasted until 1962.

Feininger became famous for his photographs of New York. Other frequent subjects among his works were science and nature, as seen in bones, shells, plants, and minerals in the images of which he often stressed their structure. Rarely did he photograph people or make portraits, however, when he did, they became iconic.

Feininger wrote comprehensive manuals about photography, of which the best known is The Complete Photographer. In the introduction to one of Feininger's books of photographs, Ralph Hattersley, the editor of the photography journal Infinity, described him as "one of the great architects who helped create photography as we know it today." In 1966, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) awarded Feininger its highest distinction, the Robert Leavitt Award. In 1991, the International Center of Photography awarded Feininger the Infinity Lifetime Achievement Award.

Today, Feininger's photographs are in the permanent collections of the Center for Creative Photography, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, London's Victoria and Albert Museum, and the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.


  • Andreas Feininger. A Photographer's Life. 1906-1999 (2010) Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, ISBN 978-3-7757-2704-4, 192 Pages, 129 Photographs, Text
  • Andreas Feininger, That's Photography (2004) Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, ISBN 3-7757-1429-4, 320 Pages, 210 Photographs, Texts
  • In a Grain of Sand: Exploring Design by Nature (1986), Sierra Club Books, San Francisco
  • Leaves. New York (1984)
  • Industrial America (1981)
  • Feininger's Chicago (1981)
  • Feininger's Hamburg (1980)
  • Light and Lighting in Photography (1976)
  • Roots of Art (1974)
  • The Perfect Photograph (1974)
  • Darkroom Techniques (1974)
  • Andreas Feininger (text by Ralph Hattersley) (1973)
  • Principles of Composition (1973)
  • Photographic Seeing (1973)
  • Shells (1972)
  • The Complete Colour Photographer (1969) Thames & Hudson
  • Basic Color Photography (1969)
  • Trees (1968)
  • Forms of Nature and Life (1966)
  • Lyonel Feininger: City at the Edge of the World (text by T. Lux Feininger) (1965)
  • Feininger. New York (1965)
  • The Complete Photographer (1965)
  • New York (1964)
  • The World Through My Eyes (1963)
  • Total Picture Control (1961)
  • Maids, Madonnas, and Witches (1961)
  • The Anatomy of Nature (1956)
  • Changing America (1955)
  • The Creative Photographer (1955)
  • Successful Color Photography (1954)
  • Successful Photography (1954)
  • The Face of New York (text by Susan E. Lyman) (1954)
  • Reprint, New York (1953)
  • Advanced Photography, New York (1952)
  • Feininger on Photography (1949)
  • New York (1945)
  • New Paths in Photography (1939)
  • Exakta - Ein Weg zu Foto-Neuland (1939)
  • Motive im Gegenlicht (1939)
  • Fotografische Gestaltung (1937)
  • Entwickeln, Kopieren, Vergrössern (1936)
  • Stockholm (1936)
  • Aufnahme-Technik (1936)
  • Menschen vor der Kamera (1934)

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ [1] "Lyonel Feininger (Léonell Charles Feininger) is born in New York City on July 17. He is the first child of the violinist Karl Feininger from Durlach in Baden (South West Germany) and the American singer Elizabeth Cecilia Feininger, born Lutz, who is also of German descent."
  2. ^ NY Times Obituary

External links[edit]