The great fashion photographer Martin Munkacsi was born in Hungary in 1896, spent the 20s and 30s in Berlin, and immigrated to New York City in 1934. For many years the best paid photographer of his time and a profound influence on photographers like Richard Avedon, his work was out of fashion at the time of his death in 1963. Recently, Munkacsi has emerged from history asThe great fashion photographer Martin Munkacsi was born in Hungary in 1896, spent the 20s and 30s in Berlin, and immigrated to New York City in 1934. For many years the best paid photographer of his time and a profound influence on photographers like Richard Avedon, his work was out of fashion at the time of his death in 1963. Recently, Munkacsi has emerged from history as one of the most significant talents of the twentieth century, having shaped the beginnings of modern photojournalism, set in motion a previously static medium and combined fact-finding accuracy with a highly formal aesthetic standard. Munkacsi was an outstanding representative of the 'Neues Sehen' (New Way of Seeing), certainly photography's weightiest contribution to advanced art. His fashion and sports photography were both groundbreaking and unmatched. Up until now, however, all this work has been scattered throughout the world, and much of it has been lost, although the Ullstein Archive in Berlin maintains an extensive collection of Munkacsi's work from Hungary and Germany. Martin Munkacsi gathers and assembles this mid-century master's images as never before. It contains pictures from each of his artistic phases and several photographs and reports that haven't been seen since their initial magazine publications. A major collection featuring 318 tritones, it offers a valuable glimpse of photography's tense, technology-obsessed, glamorous and contradictory beginnings....
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Martin Munkacsi Reviews
An excellent book on a remarkable photographer whose influence on fashion and lifestyle photography extends to this day. Munkacsi's estate was scattered after his death, and the making of this book was in fact a remarkable enterprise that must be saluted before any of its shortcomings can be listed.The photographs are superb and the text highly interesting, though technical information is slow to come (you have to wait until page three hundred and something to learn which cameras Munkacsi shot with!). That said, there is much to learn from looking at the pictures and reading the three main chapters, which cover the artist's work in Hungary, Germany and the United States.In terms of the photographs reproduced, the strongest chapter is probably the middle one, from Munkacsi's Berlin years, during which his style established itself. The text for this chapter, though, is a bit general, with interesting but long passages on the state of the theater, cinema, etc., in Germany at the time.The text of the first chapter, and especially of the third chapter (on New York), is much more interesting, though one regrets there aren't more photographs from Munkacsi's American years, especially his color work. Also, a number of famous pictures that you may have seen elsewhere are not included.This should not deter you from buying or reading this book. It is a wonderful read for anyone who wants to rediscover, and possibly learn from, an oft-forgotten photographer whose approach to photography is still a hundred percent relevant today.