Talk:Man Ray

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In general, the whole article reads like a puff piece - an ad for an exhibit of his life's work. In particular, it seems to have been written by people who are mostly true believers in the artistic direction he took, and its effect on culture on a whole. There are some amusingly sycophantic quotes at the end of the article, but they hardly represent anything like a summary of views held towards him and his art, they're family and friends. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

"Known professionally as" versus legal name[edit]

I'm not sure what wikipedia's style policy is on this, but when you say someone is "known professionally" by some name, doesn't that imply they maintain their "real" name as their legal name or in some other way?

Man Ray's entire immediate family changed their surname from Radnitzki to Ray -- a typical step toward assimilation for immigrant families of that era -- when MR was a very young man still living with his parents. He used "Man Ray" as his legal name on his 1914 marriage license and all known legal documents (passports, etc.) thereafter. "Man Ray" was his legal name and he never used "Emmanuel Radnitzki" for anything after 1911, as far as I know. WatchCat87 (talk) 18:04, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Man Ray/Ray Man[edit]

Should the game Rayman be included in references in popular culture? I don't know enough about either to comment, but it seems like an interesting coincidence. Sebbi 13:12, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

I've moved this article back to Man Ray because the artist is by far the most famous/important/notable person/thing of that name. The rest can go on the disambig page which I've moved to Man Ray (disambiguation). Gamaliel 19:25, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Agree Kapil 19:33, 21 May 2005 (UTC)


should there be a section where he molested little girls in george hodell's house? proof of this can be seen on the 48 hours mystery, where hodell's daughter was molested and taken provacative pictures of by rey.

No, there shouldn't. As for proof: the only source claiming Man Ray's acquaintanceship with George Hodel was Hodel's son Stephen Hodel in his book 'Black Dahlia Avenger: A Genius for Murder'. Stephen Hodel doesn't substantiate his speculations with any evidence, only childhood memories triggered by looking at a photograph. Man Ray's life has been well researched and the connection to George Hodel is not documented anywhere. ---Sluzzelin 20:08, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Juliet Bowser?[edit]

The article on Max Ernst states that he was married in 1946 in a double ceremony shared with Man Ray and Juliet Bowser. If so, it's high time that detail was added to this article. However, I only happened upon this topic, so I'm hardly the one to add major details on the basis of reading a different WP article. Somebody else up for it? Lawikitejana 15:44, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

As Senior Wences said, "it's easy..." with a good source for the information, International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum listing for Man Ray, added as a link also! 83d40m

talented amateur seamstress[edit]

I respect your persistence, and do not challenge the issue of whether Man Ray’s mother was employed as a seamstress, but think the rub is in your choice of a descriptive adjective modifying seamstress. Let’s use discussion to resolve this.

Amateur is what I see as the problem in your entry regarding the acknowledged, talented skills of his mother as a seamstress. I do not think it is appropriate in this entry for several reasons.

Let’s look at the Miriam-Webster entry for amateur, Main Entry: am•a•teur Function: noun Etymology: French, from Latin amator lover, from amare to love 1 : DEVOTEE, ADMIRER 2 : one who engages in a pursuit, study, science, or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession 3 : one lacking in experience and competence in an art or science - amateur adjective, - am•a•teur•ish -/ adjective, - am•a•teur•ish•ly adverb, - am•a•teur•ish•ness noun, - am•a•teur•ism noun

synonyms – please read all these to understand the differences and similarities AMATEUR, DILETTANTE, DABBLER, TYRO mean a person who follows a pursuit without attaining proficiency or professional status.

AMATEUR often applies to one practicing an art without mastery of its essentials <a painting obviously done by an amateur>; in sports it may also suggest not so much lack of skill but avoidance of direct remuneration <remained an amateur despite lucrative offers>.

DILETTANTE may apply to the lover of an art rather than its skilled practitioner but usually implies elegant trifling in the arts and an absence of serious commitment <had no patience for dilettantes>. DABBLER suggests desultory habits of work and lack of persistence <a dabbler who started novels but never finished them>. TYRO implies inexperience often combined with audacity with resulting crudeness or blundering <shows talent but is still a mere tyro>.

Sewing is not a sport so we may exclude the reference that relates to sports although I presume that is the basis of the use found in you reference, or your interpretation of it, since one who is highly skilled in a sport may be ranked as an amateur in competition if remuneration is avoided. This is a most particular use of the term, not to be considered typical of the use in other contexts. The clothing of the eras in which she was creating her own designs and making items that deserved the characterization, talented, were very complex articles with extensive detail, tailoring, and fitting in an era when there were few sewing machines and none with devices such as buttonhole attachments!

In fine arts, one may be classified as professional as soon as one piece of artwork is sold. The classification is not determined by skill, however, and a rank amateur may be able to produce a work of professional caliber.

The fact that she did not receive payment for her work is no different from the children who were pressed into service to provide income for the family. Providing a necessary item that would have been costly to obtain from elsewhere is contributing to the benefit of the family, saving the money that would have been spent for other needs. There has been a great deal of discussion in the last thirty-five years regarding the devaluation of the contributions of women in the expense of running a household and the skills practiced to support the running of a household. The performance of such skills in a fashion that could be characterized as, talented, could never also be characterized as, amateurish and so I understand the earlier objection to it as being denigrating in this context.

Further, the fact that you have selected the woman to identify as an amateur, begs the question of the status of the children. Are you implying that they were professional, and she not? Do you really believe that a tailor would press his children into service in a home business and always avoid calling upon his wife (who could design as well as create clothes for men, children, and women) to assist when necessary? This seems quite improbable to me although I am sure that she had plenty to keep her occupied without having to participate regularly.

Many family members made clothing in those days, few were talented. Ill-fitting clothing was readily available through catalogues and many stores in Philadelphia and New York… having a talented seamstress or tailor in a family was the only way one could obtain well-made clothing without having to pay a lot of money for good clothes made by one at a shop or altered to fit after purchase. So her skills would have been competitive with those making a living with the same skills, and again could never deserve characterization as, amateurish.

I think we are going to have to accept designing clothes and being a talented seamstress as, art. If you have ever attempted to make clothing, you may have discovered that it is not simple even when following patterns. Would you know how to match a fabric so it all faces in the same direction and still assuring that any pattern in it is matched? It takes years for one to master creating clothing for men, children, and women – or exceptional innate skill.

To be a designer of clothes for an entire family by making one’s own patterns is a highly skilled art. The word amateur is totally inappropriate for use with a talented seamstress who designed and made the clothes for an entire family.

Please reconsider your insistence upon the choice of this word in this sentence. Even if it exists in a quote you have found, that does not make it correct or appropriate for our encyclopedia. The sentence reads quite well without the word, and does not lose its meaning.

sites to gain some insight into skills needed to design and create clothing worn after 1890,

83d40m 23:09, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

His mother WAS an amatuer seamstress[edit]

I am restoring the word "amatuer" because it accurately reflects the Radnitski family's circumstances and his mother's attitude toward sewing. According to both Baldwin and Naumann, it was something she did for pleasure and as creative expression. Also, the word makes clear that the family was sufficiently well off that his mother did not have to work as a seamstress -- either in a "sweat-shop" factory or doing piece-work at home -- as was unfortunately typical for immigrant women of her time and place. In other word, she has the luxury of being an amateur because the family was more working class or lower-middle class, not extremely poor. The word is in no way demeaning in this context. If you are going to deleting it again, I think you need to show that the word is in fact demeaning in standard American English. It's not.

I should add that his mother did not make ALL the families clothing, only pieces she wanted to. Like I said, it was a pleasurable thing for her, not a chore.

Another thing: Man Ray's father did pay his children a small wage for their work in the tailoring business, according to Baldwin. His mother did not work in this business. She sewed for pleasure. Hence, once again, AMATUER.

amateur is incongruous in the sentence[edit]

Her skill level, recognized as talented in a highly complex trade or art, shows that she had advanced beyond the level of one lacking in experience and competence as defined by Miriam-Webster, for the standard American English you request, and denigrating is defined as, 2. to deny the importance or validity of : BELITTLE <denigrate their achievements>.

Recognition of her skill, as you have acknowledged, has nothing to do with whether she was paid, it is the basis of not defining her as amateurish.

clearly, you and I disagree, but I note that there have been previous objections to this characterization also. That is why I introduced a rewording of the section to avoid the controversial adjective. Let’s see whether you can develop consensus for your insistence upon the reversals of the edits of several others. Wikipedia can only benefit from the establishment of consensus about the use of this adjective in this instance. 83d40m 00:25, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

"Amateur" is fine, 83d40m is wrong[edit]

What is the problem? It is obvious from context (i.e., "talented") that the word "amateur" is being used in the sense of the word's primary meaning of "one who does something for pleasure not for money" rather than the secondary meaning of "unskilled". This is perfectly correct English and an accurate depicting of the specific facts about Man Ray's early life.

Judging for this discussion, 83d40m's objections seem to be based in assumptions and generalizations that do not apply here. Not to mention a seemingly imperfect grasp of the English language. Sorry. WatchCat87 06:21, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

agree with 83dm40 and criticism of amateur as used[edit]

Do agree that the two adjectives - talented and amateur - do not go well together in this line. The first definition relates to use as a noun, this use is as an adjective which makes it equate with - amateurish – and talented and amateurish are opposites in meaning. They contradict each other as two adjectives for one noun, ( +1 and -1 = 0 ). Alternately take away one of the adjectives and read the two phrases to understand this: she was a talented seamstress - and - she was an amateur seamstress.

Best to consider the comparison given as a guide for use, “amateur often applies to one practicing an art without mastery of its essentialsobviously done by an amateur”. That can’t be the case when combined with talented as two modifiers for the same “art”. Everyone seems to agree on a high level of skill here… Who would call clothes “obviously done by an amateur” as something made by a talented seamstress? Would a professional tailor want to wear them or have his family members wear them? That would reflect badly on the father's skills, who would buy a suit from a professional tailor who (and whose family) wears clothes that are obviously made by an amateur?

The mother's recognized high skills in an art, even if only practiced to make special gifts occasionally, fits the context of an article that discusses how the art that all members of the family participated in -- surfaces in Man Ray's work frequently, no matter what the medium.

Think that rewording is the quick way to resolve this. - NTL.B.746

The rewording resolves the objection I have to the original 83d40m

Who said his mother "only practiced [sewing] to make special gifts occasionally"? Baldwin says she sewed as much as possible, as it was one of her favorite things to do. I can't believe anyone would be editing the Man Ray page with out having read Baldwin, the standard biography. In any case, I reword the sentence using specific facts rather than descriptions. WatchCat87 17:30, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Look at what your lives have been reduced to. -- anonymous — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

Should External Links section be allowed to contain such a long description? Ninel (talk) 14:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Unsure, but I have revised the References section to what I believe is the appropriate format.--Soulparadox 07:51, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Birth date[edit]

Man Ray's birth date is listed as either August 25 or August 27 in various reputable sources. What is the best way to acknowledge this? Grove Art Online (part of Oxford Art Online, a subscription-only service so I unfortunately can't link to the article) gives August 25, 1890 Saur Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon says 25.8.1890 or 27.8.1890 Benezit Dictionary of artists says August 27, 1890. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bettinche (talkcontribs) 16:32, 31 August 2012 (UTC)


There should be a suggested redirect to the Spongebob Man Ray. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)