A Collection of Self-Portraits by Gertrud Arndt (1930s)

Gertrud Arndt (1903 – 2000) was a photographer associated with the Bauhaus movement. She is remembered for her pioneering series of self-portraits from around 1930.

Over the five years she captured herself and her friends in various styles, costumes and settings in the series known as Maskenportäts (Masked Portraits). Although at the time Arndt refused to attribute any deep artistic meaning to her photographs, they were imaginative and provocative. Through her costumes, Arndt created playful reinterpretations of such feminine tropes as the widow, socialite, and a little girl.

The viewer is confronted with Arndt head on, unable to ignore the expression communicated by her face and the accessories that framed it. In an interview as a nonagenarian, Arndt told Sabina Leßmann, “I am simply interested in the face, what does one make from a face? There you only need to open your eyes wide and already you are someone else. Isn’t that true?”. Today Arndt is considered to be a pioneer of female self-portraiture, her work echoing in that of Cindy Sherman and Sophie Calle.

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Gertrud Arndt, self-portrait via

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Self Portrait© Gertrud Arndt via

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Gertrud Arndt, Maskenportrait Nr. 29, via

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Gertrud Arndt, Maskenfoto, um 1930 Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin © VG Bild‐Kunst, Bonn 2016 via

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Mask portrait No. 131 by Gertrud Arndt, 1930 via

Amazing Portraits of Writers and Artists by Gisèle Freund

Gisèle Freund (1908  – 2000) was a German-born French photographer and photojournalist, famous for her documentary photography and portraits of writers and artists. Her best-known book is Photographie et société (1974) about the uses and abuses of the photographic medium in the age of technological reproduction. In 1977, she became President of the French Association of Photographers, and in 1981, she took the official portrait of French President François Mitterrand.

She was made Officier des Arts et Lettres in 1982 and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, the highest decoration in France, in 1983. In 1991, she became the first photographer to be honored with a retrospective at the Musée National d’art Moderne in Paris (Centre Georges Pompidou).

Freund’s major contributions to photography include using the Leica (with its 36 frames) for documentary reportage and her early experimentation with Kodachrome and 35 mm Agfacolor, which allowed her to develop a “uniquely candid portraiture style” that distinguishes her in 20th century photography.

She is buried at the Montparnasse Cemetery in Paris, France near her home and studio at 12 rue Lalande.

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Anouk Aimée by Gisèle Freund, 1962 via

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Colette by Gisèle Freund, 1954 via

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund via

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Simone de Beauvoir by Gisèle Freund (The day of the Prix Goncourt, next to a window writing), Paris, 1954 via

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Zsa Zsa Gabor, 1953 via

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Evita Perón, doing her hair (Reportage for Life magazine, 1950) © Gisèle Freund via

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Gisèle Freund, Self-Portrait via

Portraits by Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934)

Gertrude Käsebier (1852–1934) was one of the most influential American photographers of the early 20th century. She was known for her evocative images of motherhood, her powerful portraits of Native Americans and her promotion of photography as a career for women.

Her husband supported her financially when she began to attend art school at the age of thirty-seven, a time when most women of her day were well-settled in their social positions. Käsebier never indicated what motivated her to study art, but she devoted herself to it wholeheartedly.

Throughout the late 1910s and most of the 1920s Käsebier expanded her portrait business, taking photos of many important people of the time including Robert Henri, John Sloan, William Glackens, Arthur B. Davies, Mabel Dodge and Stanford White. In 1924 her daughter Hermine Turner joined her in her portrait business.

In 1929 Käsebier gave up photography altogether and liquidated the contents of her studio. That same year she was given a major one-person exhibition at the Booklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.

Käsebier died on 12 October 1934 at the home of her daughter, Hermine Turner.

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Miss N (Portrait of Evelyn Nesbit), 1903 by Gertrude Käsebier via

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Girl in Satin Dress with Roses by Gertrude Käsebier (Museum of Fine Arts, Bostonvia

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The Bride by Gertrude Käsebier, 1902 via

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Genevieve Lyon by Gertrude Käsebier, 1914 via

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Portrait of Miss Minnie Ashley by Gertrude Käsebier, 1905 via

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The Magic Crystal, or the Crystal Gazer by Gertrude Käsebier, 1904 via

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Self-Portrait by  Gertrude Käsebier, 1905 via

Portraits by Photographer Inge Morath

Ingeborg Hermine “Inge” Morath (1923 – 2002) was an Austrian-born photographer. In 1953, she joined the Magnum Photos Agency, founded by top photographers in Paris, and became a full photographer with them in 1955. Along with Eve Arnold, she was among the first women members.  Magnum remains to this day a predominantly male organization.

Morath’s work was motivated by a fundamental humanism, shaped as much by her experience of war as by its lingering shadow over post-war Europe. In Morath’s mature work, she documents the endurance of the human spirit under situations of extreme duress, as well as its manifestations of ecstasy and joy.

In 1955, she published her first collection of photographs, a total of 30 monographs during her lifetime. Morath was also the third and last wife of playwright Arthur Miller; their daughter is screenwriter/director Rebecca Miller.

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Self-Portrait by Inge Morath, Jerusalem, 1958 via

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Inge Morath, Portrait of Anais Nin, 1959 © Inge Morath © The Inge Morath Foundation via

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Inge Morath, Gloria Vanderbilt New York, 1956 ©  Fotosammlung WestLicht, Wien via

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Jayne Mansfield in bed in Beverly Hills, Inge Morath 1959 via

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Audrey Hepburn during the production of The Unforgiven, Durango, Mexico by Inge Morath 1959 via

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Marilyn Monroe on the set of the Misfits by Inge Morath, 1960s via