24 November 2006

The man from Szeged

Many things in the history of photography seem to lead back to the 291 gallery
in New York. I was planning to write something about Edward Steichen who
was Alfred Stieglitz associate and designer of the covers of the legendary
journal "Camera Work".

Then I stumbled upon this man born in Szeged, Hungary.


[Nickolas Muray at Riverview Park, Chicago], 1917 / unidentified photographer.
1 photographic print : b&w ; 14 x 08 cm. Nickolas Muray papers, 1911-1978.
Archives of American Art

His name was Nickolas Muray and for those of you who are not familiar with
him I´d like to share my findings. As you probably already have figured out,
I have not graduated from any academy of fine arts or something like that.
I am just a curious private investigator. Anyway Nickolas was a very handsome
man, but also a skilled photographer. Below is a picture of his studio in
New York where he settled down in 1913.



[Nickolas Muray's studio at 129 MacDugal Street], ca. 1920 / Nickolas Muray,
photographer. 1 photographic print : b&w ; 26 x 21 cm. Nickolas Muray papers,
1911-1978. Archives of American Art.

Muray became one of the most sought after portrait photographers and made
over 10 000 portraits, many of them were of celebrities. He worked for
magazines like Vanity Fair and Harper´s Bazaar.

I was delighted to find his color prints. The one with the shoes below is
breathtaking. I really love it.


TITLE ON OBJECT: McCall's Style & Beauty Cover:
Shoes
1942 color print, assembly (Carbro) process 37.9 x 31.7 cm. (visible)
Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray

GEH NEG: 29533
71:0034:0005



Among those pictures there is also the beautiful portrait of Frida Kahlo below.



Muray, Nickolas
American (b. Hungary, 1892-1965)
TITLE ON OBJECT: Frida Kahlo
1941
color print, assembly (Carbro) process
40.1 x 29.9 cm.
Gift of Mrs. Nickolas Muray
GEH NEG: 40130
71:0050:0016

Pictures of Kahlo and Shoes are from Photography collections online,
George Eastman House See more excellent pictures by Murat here

Nickolas had a love affair with Frida Kahlo for many years. In the last
picture you will find him in Frida´s and Diego Riveras home in Mexico.


[Gathering at the Riveras’ San Angel home], 1938 / unidentified photographer.
1 photographic print : b&w ; 20 x 25 cm. Nickolas Muray papers, 1911-1978.
Archives of American Art.

Right to left: Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter and caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957), Diego Rivera, the Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Muray (1892-1965), Rosa Covarrubias (former American dancer Rosa Rolando), and two Tehuanas who served Rivera as models.


It seems I have ended up in Mexico once more.

2 comments:

Jeanne said...

wonderful stuff -- I love the portrait of Frida, so beautiful!

f. skott said...

Yes, wonderful!