Arnold Newman was born March 3, 1918 in New York City. He was raised and attended schools in Atlantic City, N.J. and Miami Beach, FL. He studied art under a scholarship at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL from 1936 to 1938. He died in New York City on June 6, 2006. Generally acknowledged as the pioneer of the environmental portrait, he is also known for his still life and abstract photography, and he is considered as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th Century.
Newman began his career in photography in 1938 working at chain portrait studios in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and West Palm Beach, and immediately began working in abstract and documentary photography on his own. In June of 1941, Beaumont Newhall of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Alfred Stieglitz “discovered” him, and he was given an exhibit with Ben Rose at the A.D. Gallery in September. There he began working on experimental portraiture, developing an approach that is widely influential in portrait photography today. In June of 1942, he returned home to Miami Beach, FL because of the war. In 1945 his Philadelphia Museum of Art one-man exhibit, “Artists Look Like This,” attracted nationwide attention. Well established, he moved to New York in 1946 and opened his studio and became a member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP.) Newman’s new approach to portraiture began its influence through key publications in America and abroad. Exhibits and purchases of his work by major museums quickly followed. In 1949, he married Augusta Rubenstein, and they had two sons, Eric, born 1950, and David, 1952. His wife died in 2009. They are survived by their two sons and four grandchildren.
BOOKS, ARTICLES, TELEVISION AND PROFESSIONAL WORK
Arnold Newman authored many books, including Bravo Stravinsky, 1967; One Mind’s Eye: The Portraits and Other Photographs of Arnold Newman, 1974 (soft covers published 1976 and 1985); Faces USA, 1978; The Great British, in English and American editions, 1979; Artists: Portraits from Four Decades, 1980; I Grand Fotographi-Arnold Newman, Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, Milan Italy, in Italian, Spanish, English and American editions, 1983-84; Arnold Newman: Five Decades, 1986; Arnold Newman in Florida, 1987; Arnold Newman’s Americans, 1992; Arnold Newman, in Japanese and Korean, 1992; Arnold Newman-Selected Photographs, 1999; Arnold Newman, Taschen Publishers, in English, German and French, 2000; Arnold Newman: The Early Work, Steidl publishers, 2008
Newman has been profiled extensively in domestic and international magazines and is featured in photographic books and histories of photography, including the Museum of Modern Art’s History of Photography and Masterpieces From the Museum’s Collection, Encyclopedia Britannica, Who’s Who in the World, etc. He has been the subject of numerous television programs, such as “The Image Makers-Arnold Newman,” Dick Cavett for PBS (National); as well as three featured segments on CBS’s “Sunday Morning”, CNN, and “Smithsonian: 150 Years” for CBS (1996), and many others in the U.S. and abroad.
He has been an important contributor of portraits, still-lives and photographic essays in such publications as Life, Holiday, Look, Vanity Fair, Scientific American, Town and Country, Esquire, Travel and Leisure, Harper’s Bazaar, The New Yorker and others. His many commercial and advertising clients have included Ford, IBM, ITT, Deere and Co., Citibank, St. Regis, Canon, Commonwealth Fund, Eastman Kodak, Ilford, Polaroid, etc.
Newman was the artist in residence as the Director’s Visitor/Lecturer at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J., 1991. He was also the Adjunct Professor of Advanced Photography, Cooper Union, NYC.
MUSEUM COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITIONS
Arnold Newman’s one-man shows have traveled the world. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; Art Institute of Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art; International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House (G.E.H.), Rochester, N.Y.; Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Australia National Gallery, Canberra; Israel Museum, Jerusalem; Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; Nihon University Collection of Art, Tokyo; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; International Center of Photography, NYC; and many other museums, as well as private collections around the world.
In 1972 an exhibit “Arnold Newman” at G.E.H. circulated throughout America and abroad. “The Great British” was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 1978 for a major exhibition (and book) and for their permanent collection.
Celebrating Newman’s 50th year in photography, the exhibit “Five Decades” originated and was first shown at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, in 1986 and continued on to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum, Cambridge, MA; the Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, Fla.; the New York Historical Society, NYC, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; and the Cincinnati Art Museum. The European tour opened in Amsterdam, in September 1989, and continued on to the Joan Miro Foundation Museum, Barcelona, Spain; the Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany; the Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England, culminating in Tokyo and Osaka in 1993.
In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Photography, 1839-1989, the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, Bradford, England, named Newman “honored guest” to participate in the Makers of Photographic History program, 1989. He also took part in a group exhibition of World Photography, 150 Years of Photography in Prague, Czechoslovakia. The United States Information Agency sponsored the exhibition “Arnold Newman”, Prague, 1989; the National Gallery, Bratislava, and the House of Arts, Brno, Czechoslovakia, 1990; and the Museum of History, Budapest, 1990.
Newman’s exhibition, “Arnold Newman’s Americans” was shown at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1992. In conjunction with the exhibit, Newman’s book Arnold Newman’s Americans was published by Bulfinch Press, Boston, MA. In 1993 the exhibit traveled to the Detroit Institute of the Arts; the LBJ Library and Museum, Austin TX and the Columbus Museum of Art; and in 1994 it was shown at the Greenville County Museum of Art, South Carolina, and the Worcester Art Museum, MA. The exhibit “Arnold Newman” was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Caracas, Venezuela, 1993. The one-man exhibit, “Arnold Newman’s Gift”, was given to George Eastman House in part by Eastman Kodak Company in 1994. The Portland Jewish Museum originated Newman’s exhibit “One world, One people”, 1999. The exhibit continues to be shown around the United States.
Five major museum retrospectives celebrated Newman’s sixty-year career in photography; the International Center of Photography, New York City, in March 1999; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2000; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., 2000 (“Arnold Newman: Breaking Ground”); and “Arnold Newman” sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture at the L’Hotel de Sully, Paris, France, 2002, traveled to Galerie du chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France, 2003, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2003, and Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2003.
His work continues to be exhibited extensively in museums and commercial galleries in the United States and abroad.
Arnold Newman was the recipient of numerous awards, including nine honorary doctorates, Doctor of Fine Arts, University of Miami, 1981; Doctor of Humane Letters, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, 1987; Honorary Doctorate, University of Bradford, England, 1989; Doctor of Fine Arts, the New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design, NYC 1990; Doctor of Human Letters, Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA, 1996; Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, 1999; Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Newbury College, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1999; Doctor of Fine Arts Honoris Causa, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C., May 2000; Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT, 2003.
He was named Honorary Fellow, with his wife Augusta Newman, of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1986. He has also received the Photokina Award, Cologne, Germany, 1951; the First Annual Photojournalism Conference Award, University of Miami, 1957; the Philadelphia Museum College of Art Citation, 1961; the Newhouse Citation, Syracuse University, 1961; the Fourth Biennale Internazionale Della Fotografic Gold Medal, Venice, Italy, 1963; the American Society of Magazine Photographers’ Life Achievement in Photography Award, 1975; the Advertising Club of New York “Andy Award of Excellence”, 1983; the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service to Journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, 1985; the Lotus Club Medal of Merit Award, NYC, 1986; the Photographic Administrators, Inc. “Lifetime Commemorative Medal for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Photography, NYC, 1988; the Joseph Sudek Commemorative Medal for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Photography, Prague, 1989; the Photographic Society of Japan’s “150 Years of Photography Photographer Award,” 1989. Received World Image Award and Scholarship named for him, the New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design, NYC, 1993. American Society of Media Photographers, Honor Award, 1996; International Center of Photography Master of Photography Award, 1999; WPPI Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000; Professional Photographers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002; Seasoned Citizen Theatre Co. “National Treasure Award”, 2003; French Ministry of Culture and Communication, “Commandeur de l’Ordre de Arts et des Lettres”, 2003; Lucie Awards-International Photography Awards, “Outstanding Achievement in Portraiture,” 2004; Royal Photographic Society, “Centenary Award,” 2004; P.D.N “25 Most Influencial Photographer’s of the Past 25 Years,” 2005; The National Arts Club “Gold Medal for Photography,” May 2006.
Newman was on the board of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and founded its photography department in 1965. Until his death, he was actively working in his studio, busy with exhibitions, editorial, commercial and experimental work, as well as extensive photography teaching and lecturing in the U.S. (sponsored recently by Canon Cameras) and abroad.