Johan Hagemeyer

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Johan Hagemeyer (1 June 1884, Amsterdam, the Netherlands  – 1962, Berkeley, California USA) was a Dutch-born horticulturalist and vegetarian who is remembered primarily for being an early 20th century photographer and artistic intellectual.

Life and work[edit]

Hagemeyer's family came to California to grow fruit trees, but in 1916 he met photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who convinced him to devote his life to the then emerging world of artistic photography.[1] In 1923 Hagemeyer opened a portrait studio in San Francisco, which he occupied primarily from October thru early April.

In 1922 Hagemeyer built a spring-summer studio in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, at that time the largest art colony on the Pacific coast, and donated his photographs that December to a local fund-raising exhibit.[2] It was here that Hagemeyer met Edward Weston, who encouraged him to further his career in photography. He moved his Carmel address in 1924 to a new "artfully designed studio" at the prominent junction of Mountain View and Ocean Avenues, which became a meeting place for intellectuals as well as a "gallery" to display the works of local and visiting artists.[3][4][5] In 1928 he relocated to a significantly larger "Johan Hagemeyer Studio-Gallery," where he devoted an entire room to his own pictorial art and held major exhibitions of prominent Post-Impressionists painters, such as Henrietta Shore, as well as art photographers, including Edward Weston.[3][6] In February 1932 at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California Hagemeyer displayed his photographs in a joint exhibition with Carmel's most famous Impressionist painter, William Frederic Ritschel.[7] Through the spring and summer of 1938 he exhibited his landscape and portrait photos at the Guild of Carmel Craftsmen.[8][9]

From the 1920s through the 1940s Hagemeyer photographed leading figures of the day, including Pedro Joseph de Lemos, Albert Einstein, and Salvador Dalí. However, he sometimes retouched or manipulated his photos, which went against the beliefs of Weston. His refusal to adhere to Weston's views was a major cause in a growing alienation of the two men. When Weston, Ansel Adams and others founded Group f/64, devoted to straight, unmanipulated photography, Hagemeyer did not join. Perhaps because of his determination to go his own way or perhaps because his style was never fully appreciated, he never came close to achieving the fame of his former friends.[original research?] In 1947 he left Carmel and returned to San Francisco full-time. He died poor and virtually forgotten at age 78.

The Johan Hagemeyer Photograph Collection at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, contains the approximately 6,785 photographic prints and negatives which made up Hagemeyer's personal archive at the time of his death in 1962.[10] A smaller collection of prints, negatives and correspondence is at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP)in Tucson, Arizona,[11] and the CCP has released a digital catalog of Hagemeyer's photograph collection.


  1. ^ BAM/PFA - Art Exhibitions - Johan Hagemeyer / MATRIX 45
  2. ^ Carmel Pine Cone: 16 December 1922, p.1; 23 December 1922, p.8.
  3. ^ a b Edwards, Robert W. (2012). Jennie V. Cannon: The Untold History of the Carmel and Berkeley Art Colonies, Vol. 1. Oakland, Calif.: East Bay Heritage Project. pp. 193, 203–204, 222, 226, 241, 599, 618, 680, 689. ISBN 9781467545679.  An online facsimile of the entire text of Vol. 1 is posted on the Traditional Fine Arts Organization website ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2016-06-07. ).
  4. ^ Carmel Pine Cone, 9 May 1925, p. 1.
  5. ^ The Oakland Tribune, 10 May 1925, p.6-S.
  6. ^ Carmel Pine Cone: 27 July 1928, p. 4; 9 July 1926, p11.
  7. ^ Carmelite (Carmel, CA), 4 February 1932, p. 9.
  8. ^ The Carmel Cymbal, 20 May 1938, p. 2.
  9. ^ Carmel Pine Cone: 17 June 1938, p.20; 9 September 1938, p.7.
  10. ^ "Finding Aid to the Johan Hagemeyer Photograph Collection, circa 1908-circa 1955". Retrieved 2018-06-29. 
  11. ^ "eMuseum". Center for Creative Photography. Retrieved 2018-06-29. 


  • Myers, Roger and Judith Leckrone. Johan Hagemeyer Collection, Guides Series Number 11 (Tucson: Center for Creative Photography, 1985)

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