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Examining Arnold Newman's Environmental Portraits

Excerpt from the New York Times article by Rena Silverman -

 

Who cares that a picture is worth a thousand words when two can be worth a career change. Take the time a young Arnold Newman stumbled across a book of Theodore Roosevelt photos and two of them stuck out.

 

“On the cover shot, which was supposed to represent him, he looked like an overstuffed walrus,” said Mr. Newman in a 1994 interview with The Boston Globe. “Inside there was a picture of him with his foot on a rhino, growling like mad. I thought, ‘My God, that is Teddy Roosevelt!’”

 

Mr. Newman went on to photograph Eleanor Roosevelt, Pablo Picasso, Frank Lloyd Wright, Golda Meir, Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dalí, and the former president Bill Clinton: decidedly on his own terms. There would be no overstuffed costume fittings or stark studios. Mr. Newman’s portraits were defined by his sitter’s environments, which led him to be known as the “father of the environmental portrait.”

 

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For more about the life and work of Arnold Newman, please visit his Artist's page here