Martin Munkacsi (1896-1963) began his photography career in 1921 while covering sports for the Hungarian newspaper Az Est. Largely self-trained, he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I and worked as a writer and reporter before becoming a full-time, professional photographer.
In the late 1920's Munkacsi was given a lucrative contract with Ullstein Verlag and executed fashion assignments for Harper's Bazaar. Munkacsi immigrated to the United States in 1933 on assignment for the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung. At that time he met Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper's Bazaar; she quickly recognized his talent and hired him to shoot a fashion feature on location at Piping Rock Beach. At the time, fashion was photographed in studios, and when Munkacsi shot the model in action, running toward him, he broke the mold entirely and set a trend which is still with us. His widely imitated spontaneity and action brought magazine fashions to life and earned him the description "the kinetic man."
Munkacsi's photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the International Center of Photography (New York), the George Eastman House (Rochester) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.