|Louis Armstrong, photo by Phillippe Halsman
|Halsman at Jeu de Paume (Palm Game), probably his most famous photo, conceived and executed with the help of his good friend, Salvador Dali.
|Ever the engineer, Halsman actually invented and had
built two new types of cameras, just for his own use.
|Phillippe Halsman and his wife, Yvonne, ca. 1947, with their two daughters, Jane (left), and Irene (right). The two large cameras Halsman invented for his own use.
|Halsman's Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood)--utmost force and clarity.
Halsman began to become better known. French actors and writers sought him out, as did magazines such as Voila, Vu, and Vogue to work for them. He participated in photographic exhibits. In a review about such an exhibit, Halsman was labeled the best portraitist in France. Though flattered, this remark had a curious influence on the young artist. It killed forever his uncomplicated carefree attitude toward his photographs. It triggered a new responsibility--that of living up to such high praise. Previously in portrait sittings he shot from two to possibly twelve plates for a particularly interesting or difficult subject. After the review, his plate consumption doubled, then tripled.
When World War II started, so did German air raids in France. At the time, Halsman's sister and her children were leaving for the United States. Halsman sent his wife and daughter with them. Two weeks later Paris fell and, with a million other Parisians, Halsman was in his car and on the roads of southern France. All he had were some clothes, his camera, and a dozen photographic prints. Eventually he reached Marseilles and sought out the American consul there. He was informed that he could not go to America since he had a Latvian passport and the Latvian immigration quota (eighteen people per year) was filled for the next seven years. His wife was pregnant with their second child, Jane. However his sister and wife, visited Professor Albert Einstein, with whom Halsman had exchanged letters ten years previously. They asked him what he could do to help. Einstein’s intervened, Halsman's name was added to the list of writers and artists in Europe who were given visas by the Emergency Rescue Committee, organized by then First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.
|the highest achievement a magazine photographer might make.
|Besides Dali, Halsman was also associated a number of other artist who, like himself, had come to American to avoid the conflict in Europe. Like Halsman, many of them never went back.
|Halsman seems to have been quite persuasive. He even cajoled the Duke and Duchess of Windsor into doing a "Jump" photo.
|See anyone you know? Halsman knew them all.
Phillippe Halsman died in New York, June 25, 1979.
|That's all, folks!