Marcel Bolomet, né Bolomey (14 November 1905 in Carouge, Switzerland – 13 April 2003 in Hawaii), was a Swiss-French photographer who photographed many of the pivotal events during the 1930s and 1940s. He was the first official photographer for the United Nations, photographed the League of Nations, the first World Jewish Congress, and the last World Zionist Congress before the outbreak of World War II. He was a freelance photojournalist during the War and he photographed Benito Mussolini’s death as well as the liberation of Paris. His work has been described as "having the humor, warmth and sensuality of Kertesz and is far more formal and design oriented than Doisneau." His work is “reminiscent of the work of fellow European photographers Robert Doisneau, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Andre Kertesz, and Henri Cartier-Bresson … The significance of Bolomet’s images resides not only in their historic value but in their sensitivity and humanity."
Bolomet first visited the United States in the early 1930s during the Depression and stayed with an uncle in Akron, Ohio who had been a Zeppelin engineer. He emigrated in the early 1950s, first to New York, but later to California. It was in California that he held his first exhibition, at Joseph Magnin Company, a specialty department store in San Francisco.
Bolomet intended to work for Life magazine but later decided the movie industry would be more appealing. He worked with John Engstead for a time as his printer, but trouble with union membership led him to decide to give up photography and instead become a college instructor. He was professor of French and World History at USC and Caltech for the next 25 years until his retirement. In his 70s through to his 90s, he was a popular docent and guide at the Getty Museum in Malibu.
However, Bolomet could not completely walk away from photography. A second exhibition featuring his work was held in Los Angeles in 2003. He died two months earlier.
<The Marcel Bolomet Archive was acquired in 2018 by the Swiss Foundation of Photography (Fotostiftung Schweiz) for their permanent collection.>
- Suzanne Muchnic, The Accidental Exhibition. Los Angeles Times, July 23, 2003.
- Orville O. Clarke Jr., ArtScene, June 2003.
- United Nations Regional Information Center of Western Europe, January 8, 2016. 1946 General Assembly in Pictures.
- B&W, Black & White Magazine. Marcel Bolomet, Photographer. Volume 5, Issue 25, June 2003.
- "The accidental exhibition". latimes.
- Portrait of Marcel Bolomey UN, 1946. United Nations series. https://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/23959787860
- "United Nations General Assembly".
- "United Nations Photo". United Nations Photo. 5 February 1946.
- "Marcel Bolomet at G. Ray Hawkins".
- Walker, Robert Brecko (2017). Marcel Bolomet Photographer: Portfolio One. Archivalimage.