John Gutmann

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John Gutmann
Born 1905
Wrocław, German Empire (now Poland)
Died June 12, 1998
San Francisco, United States
Resting place San Francisco, United States
Nationality German
Education Breslau and Berlin, with Otto Mueller
Known for Painting, Photography
Movement American realism

John Gutmann (1905 – June 12, 1998) was a German-born American photographer and painter.

A painter turned photographer, Gutmann began working as a photojournalist in 1933 for Presse-Photo. Being Jewish, in 1936 he fled Nazi Germany to the United States where he worked as a photographer for various German magazines, signing on with Pix Publishing, an agency he worked with for over twenty years.[1] Gutmann's main subject matter was the American way of life, especially the Jazz music scene. Gutmann is recognized for his unique "worm's-eye view" camera angle.

He enjoyed taking photos of ordinary things and making them seem special.[citation needed]

He created the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award, through the San Francisco Foundation.

The full archive of John Gutmann's work is located at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which also manages the copyright of his work.[2]

Public collections (selection)[edit]

Exhibitions (selection)[4][edit]

  • 1941: Wondrous World, Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco.
  • 1941: Image of Freedom, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  • 1947: The Face of the Orient, Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco.
  • 1974: John Gutmann, Light Gallery, New York.
  • 1976: as i saw it, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
  • 1985: Gutmann, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
  • 1990: Talking Pictures, 1934-1989, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles.
  • 1998: John Gutmann, Rastlosese Amerika der 30er Jahre, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland.


  1. ^ Brenda Renwick, Klinsky Archive: Notes on Photographers, AGO Internal Report (2006), 1
  2. ^ "Conditions for Publication of Photographs by John Gutmann" (PDF file)
  3. ^ Collection Rijksmuseum
  4. ^ "exhibitions". Retrieved 15 November 2016.