Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône
June 16 - September 16, 2012
28 Quai des Messageries, 71100 Chalon-sur-Saône
+33 3 85 48 41 98


It was in the United States after the war, in a context of economic growth and a buoyant and expanding press, that Erwin Blumenfeld’s humorous, inventive and personal work [1897-1969] flowered. Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Collier’s, Cosmopolitan, Life, Look all of the big American fashion magazines hired him regularly over a fifteen year period, a photographer
that Alexander Liberman admiringly called “the most graphic and rooted in art ”.

For this exhibition, the photographer’s sheet-films that, sixty years on, have deteriorated for the most part, have been restored by the laboratory of the Musée Nicéphore Niépce. A digital restoration process was used In order to give the photographs their original colours. The exhibition includes over one hundred modern-day shots, original press cuttings and vintage
black and white photographs, and will showcase the reality of this littleknown workshop collection of fashion and advertising photography.

Three years after his arrival in New York, Erwin Blumenfeld is, in 1944, the most famous photographer around. According to the New York Times, he is “an outstanding leader in imaginative photography ”, and one of the highest paid. This seemingly remarkable success
story proves, if necessary, that post-WWII photography was an alliance of creativity and economic factors.

Erwin Blumenfeld owes this American fame to his fashion and advertising photographs that he does in New York in the 40’s and 50’s in his studio located 222 Central Park South, but also to his appearance as a cultured European artist: the “infinite absorption and love
of craft” [Harper’s Bazaar, 1941] which he brings to photography.