Arnold Newman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Arnold Newman
Arnold Newman in 1981.jpg
Arnold Abner Newman

(1918-03-03)March 3, 1918
New York, New York, United States
DiedJune 6, 2006(2006-06-06) (aged 88)
New York, New York, United States
Known forPortrait Photography
News Photography
Photography Teacher
Notable work
MovementEnvironmental Portraiture (founder/coined phrase)
AwardsInfinity Award (1999)
Lucie Award (2004)

Arnold Abner Newman (March 3, 1918 - June 6, 2006) was an American photographer, noted for his "environmental portraits" of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still life images.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Manhattan, Newman grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey and later moved to Miami Beach, Florida. In 1936, he studied painting and drawing at the University of Miami. Unable to afford to continue after two years, he moved to Philadelphia to work for a studio, making 49-cent portraits in 1938.

Newman returned to Florida in 1942 to manage a portrait studio in West Palm Beach. Three years later, he opened his own business in Miami Beach.

In 1946, Newman relocated to New York, opened Arnold Newman Studios and worked as a freelance photographer for Fortune, Life, and Newsweek. Though never a member, Newman frequented the Photo League during the 1940s.[1]

Success as a photographer[edit]

Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities—Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn—he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer.

Newman is often credited with being the photographer who articulated and who consistently employed the genre of environmental portraiture, in which the photographer uses a carefully framed and lit setting, and its contents, to symbolise the individual's life and work; a well known example being his portrait of Igor Stravinsky in which the lid of his grand piano forms a gargantuan musical note representative of the melodic structure of the composer's work.[2] Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene.

Igor Stravinsky by Newman photographed at the Lousiana Art Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark

"I didn't just want to make a photograph with some things in the background," Newman told American Photo magazine in an interview. "The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn't mean a thing."[3]

Newman's best-known images were in black and white, although he often photographed in color. His 1946 black and white portrait of Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano[4] became his signature image, even though it was rejected by Harper's Bazaar, the magazine that gave the assignment to Newman.[3][5] He was one of the few photographers allowed to make a portrait of the famously camera-shy Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Among Newman's best-known color images is an eerie portrait from 1963 that shows former Nazi industrialist and minister of armament Alfried Krupp in one of Krupp's factories.[2] Newman admits his personal feelings influenced his portrayal of Krupp.[3][5][6]

Newman taught photography at Cooper Union for many years.

On December 19, 2005, Newman made his last formal portrait of director James (Jimmy) Burrows at the NBC studio on the Saturday Night Live stage. This session was particularly special for Newman because he had photographed Jimmy's father Abe Burrows several times.[7] He was recovering from a stroke when he died at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York on June 6, 2006.[8]


  • Newman, Arnold (1974), One mind's eye : the portraits and other photographs of Arnold Newman, Little, Brown and Co, ISBN 978-0-8212-0732-1
  • Newman, Arnold; Sobieszek, Robert A., 1943- (1984), Arnold Newman, Collins, ISBN 978-0-00-411955-7CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Newman, Arnold; Brookman, Philip (2006), Arnold Newman, Taschen, ISBN 978-3-8228-2592-1
  • Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center; Flukinger, Roy, 1947-, (author.); Fulton, Marianne (2013), Arnold Newman : at work (First ed.), Austin University of Texas Press, ISBN 978-0-292-74491-2CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Newman, Arnold; Brookman, Philip (2006), Arnold Newman, Taschen, ISBN 978-3-8228-2592-1
  • Newman, Arnold; Sidney Janis Gallery (1988), Arnold Newman : collages, vintage prints, recent photographs, Sidney Janis Gallery
  • Newman, Arnold; Heisler, Gregory, (writer of afterword.) (2018), Arnold Newman : one hundred, Radius Books ; New York, NY : Howard Greenberg Gallery, ISBN 978-1-942185-52-9CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Newman, Arnold; Weber, Bruce, 1951-; Norton Gallery and School of Art (1988), Arnold Newman in Florida (1st ed.), D.R. Godine in association with Norton Gallery of Art, ISBN 978-0-87923-740-0CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Newman, Arnold; Ollman, Arthur; Museum of Photographic Arts (San Diego, Calif.) (1986), Arnold Newman, five decades (1st ed.), Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, ISBN 978-0-15-107900-1
  • Newman, Arnold; Komanecky, Michael; William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum (2010), Arnold Newman artists' photographs, David R. Godine, ISBN 978-1-56792-415-2
  • Danziger, James; Conrad, Barnaby, III, 1952-, (author.) (1977), Interviews with master photographers : Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Cornell Capa, Elliott Erwitt, Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman, Lord Snowdon, Brett Weston, Paddington Press : Distributed by Grosset & DunlapCS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)



  1. ^ Arnold Newman bio at The Jewish Museum
  2. ^ a b Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center; Flukinger, Roy, 1947-, (author.); Fulton, Marianne (2013), Arnold Newman : at work (First ed.), Austin University of Texas Press, p. 38,64, ISBN 978-0-292-74491-2CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b c Harris, Mark Edward (March–April 2000). "ARNOLD NEWMAN: the stories behind some of the most famous portraits in the 20th century". American Photo. pp.36-38: Hachette Filipacchi. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  4. ^ "Behind the lens: Arnold Newman (7)". Getty Images. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Grundberg, Andy (June 7, 2006). "Arnold Newman, Portrait Photographer Who Captured the Essence of His Subjects, Dies at 88". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  6. ^ "Behind the lens: Arnold Newman (11)". Getty Images. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Stories about Arnold". Arnold Newman Archive. 2006. Archived from the original on 2014-07-28.
  8. ^ Death of Arnold Newman reported by MSNBC
  9. ^ "Missouri Honor Medal Winners: Individuals". Missouri School of Journalism. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  10. ^ Newman's biography at the ICP website for his 1999 Infinity Award Archived June 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ 2004 Lucie Award information
  12. ^ Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award

External links[edit]