Monday, March 15, 2010
Louise Dahl-Wolfe, November 19 1895 - December 11 1989, was born in San Francisco and became a popular American photographer through the 30's through to the 80's.
She was known for taking outdoor photographs with natural light in distant locations. Such as South America to Africa. what then became known as "environmental" fashion photography.
Louise Dahl Wolfe studied for 6 years at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she worked on paintings, figure drawing, anatomy, and design. And at Columbia University, she studied design and architecture.
Wolfe began working with a camera at the age of 26 and by 1929, she established herself as a professional photographer. Through 1936 - 1958 she introduced a witty, relaxed, and natural aspect to fashion photography. She created memorable portrait photographs of leading figures from politics to the arts and was a pioneer in the technique of colour photography.
Although she preferred portraiture to fashion in photography, between the years 1936 - 1958 she was a staff fashion photographer where she became well known for her work. Especially for Harper's March cover in 1943 where she photographed a teenager, Lauren Bacall, and became known for her work discovery not long after.
Between 1933 - 1960, she operated a photographic studio in New York that was home to the freelance advertising and fashion work she made for stores, such as Bonwit Teller and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Louise Dahl Wolfe worked as a freelance photographer for Vogue, Sports Illustrated and others from 1950 till retirement in 1960, where she created surprising, often humorous, juxtapositions of her models with famous painting and sculptures. She became a great influence on photographers Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.
Her work was displayed throughout important touring exhibitions and she received an honorary doctorate award from Moore College of Arts in Philadelphia in 1989.