Erwin Blumenfeld (1897 – 1969) is regarded as one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century. An experimenter and innovator, he produced an extensive body of work throughout his thirty-five year career including black and white nudes, celebrity portraiture, advertising campaigns and his renowned fashion photography. He took more covers for Vogue than any photographer before or since and his art photography was for a long time overshadowed by his commercial work.
Blumenfeld began his career working as an apprentice dressmaker to Moses and Schlochauer in 1913. He opened his own company in Amsterdam in 1923, the 'Fox Leather Company', a leather goods store specialising in ladies handbags. It was situated at the Kalverstraat 116 in the center of the city. After moving to new premises in 1932, Blumenfeld discovered a fully equipped dark room and began to photograph many of his -predominantly female- customers. The company went bankrupt in 1935, just as Blumenfeld's photographic career was beginning to take an upward turn.
Following a move to Paris in 1936, Blumenfeld was commissioned to take the portraits of personalities including George Rouault and Henri Matisse and secured his first advertising work for Monsavon. Blumenfeld quickly captured the attention of photographer Cecil Beaton who helped him secure a contract with French Vogue.
During World War II, in 1941, Blumenfeld moved to New York where he was immediately put under contract by Harper's Bazaar and after three years, he began freelance work for American Vogue. Over the next fifteen years, Blumenfeld's work was featured on numerous Vogue covers and in a variety of publications including Seventeen, Glamour and House & Garden. During this period, he also worked a photographer for the Oval Room of the Dayton Department Store in Minneapolis and produced advertising campaign for cosmetics clients such as Helena Rubinstein, Elizabeth Arden and L'Oreal.
In the late 50s, he also began to create motion pictures, hoping to use them commercially and began work on his biography and his book 'My One Hundred Best Photos' which, despite being a renowned fashion photographer, only included four of his fashion images.
Following Blumenfeld's death in 1969, numerous books on his work have been published, namely 'The Naked and the Veiled' by his son, Yorick Blumenfeld, and his photographs have been exhibited at international galleries including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, The Barbican in London and The Hague Museum of Photography in the Netherlands.
In the 1960s, he worked on his autobiography which found no publisher because it was considered to be too ironic towards society, and was published only after his death.
Personal History 
His more personal work is in black and white; his commercial work in fashion, much for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, is mostly in color. In both media he was a great innovator. In black and white he did all his work personally in the dark room. In color he drew on his extensive background in classical and modern painting. He married Lena Citroen in the Netherlands in 1921 and had three children there: Lisette, Henry and Yorick.
For details of his life one should read his picaresque autobiography, which he wrote in German and on which he worked from 1955 till 1969. It has been published in German under the title: Einbildungsroman, Eichborn Verlag, 1998. It also has come out in English under the title: Eye to I, Thames and Hudson, 1999. It was first published in French under the title: Jadis et Daguerre, Robert Laffont, 1975, with a re-edition by Editions de la Martinière, 1996. It also has come out in Dutch: Spiegelbeeld, Uitgeverij de Harmonie, 1980. There were several earlier German editions under the title: Durch tausendjährige Zeit. 
A lesser-known aspect of Blumenfeld's image-making is his films. Captured between 1958 and 1964, these were mainly pilots for beauty commercials, aimed at his key beauty clients Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden and L'Oreal. The full holdings can be seen on SHOWstudio.com
Erwin Blumenfeld had numerous exhibits of his work, among the most significant to date have been the following:
- Rath Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, 1979
- Musée Pompidou, Paris, France 1981
- Barbican Museum, London, UK, 1996. This exhibit travelled to many cities, including Zurich, Lausanne, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam.
- A show of his Dutch period, has run from 9 September till 26 November 2006, in the Hague Museum of Photography, Netherland. A catalogue/book has been published for this occasion Erwin Blumenfeld His Dutch Years 1919 to 1936 by Veenman Publishers ISBN 90-8690-033-X
- June, 2012 Museum Nicéphore-Niépce Chalon-sur-Saône,France, 16 June till 16 September 2012, Studio Blumenfeld, New York, 1941-1960.
Selected Bibliography 
- My One Hundred Best Photos, Bentelli Verlag, 1979. Only black and white.
- A Passion for Beauty, Thames and Hudson, 1996.
- The Naked and the Veiled, Thames and Hudson, 1999
- Erwin Blumenfeld. 55 Photos, Phaidon Press 2004 ISBN 0-7148-4193-5
- The photo book
For his early work:
- Helen Adkins, Erwin Blumenfeld. I was nothing but a Berliner. Dada Montages 1916 – 1933, Hatje Cantz
Ostfildern 2008 ISBN 978-3-7757-2127-1
- Photographers A-Z. 2011. p. 42. ISBN 978-3-8365-1109-4.
- Biography in Blumenfeld Studio, p. 202-203
- "Vicki Goldberg The New York Times"(...http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/holocaust_new/blumenfeld.php
- Anglo-American Name Authority File, s.v. "Blumenfeld, Erwin", LC Control Number n 81089127, cited 7 February 2006
- Union List of Artists Names, s.v. "Blumenfeld, Erwin", cited 7 February 2006