History of Photography

Introduction History of Photography (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

A World History of Photography (by Naomi Rosenblum)

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991 (by Hans-Michael Koetzle)

Photographers' Dictionary
(based on "20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne")



Photographers' Dictionary

(based on "20th Century Photography-Museum Ludwig Cologne")



Adolf de Meyer - 1

Adolf de Meyer

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Adolf de Meyer (1868-1949) was a Paris born photographer who became world famous for his elegant photographic portraits of famous people. Born to a German father and Scottish mother, he was educated in Dresden, and in 1893 joined the Royal Photographic Society. In 1899, he married Olga Caracciolo, whose godfather was Edward VII. It was a marriage of convenience more than love, as de Meyer was homosexual, and his wife Olga was bisexual. Olga was involved for some time, from 1901 to 1905, in a lesbian affair with wealthy Winnaretta Singer, heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Cecil Beaton once dubbed Adolf de Meyer "the Debussy of photography".

Edward VII's relation to Olga is disputed. There are some that have claimed he was, in truth, her father, having had an affair with her mother. However, there is little truth to that claim, and at most he laid claim to being her "godfather". At Edward VII's request, much due to his association with de Meyer's wife, Olga, Adolf was made baron by Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. In 1914, on the verge of financial ruin due to World War I, he and Olga moved to New York City, where he became a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair. In 1922, de Meyer accepted the offer to become the Harper's Bazaar chief photographer. He returned to Paris, and spent the next sixteen years there. On the eve of World War II, de Meyer returned to the United States, and found that he was a relic in the face of the rising modernism of his art. Today, few of his prints survive, most having been destroyed during World War II.


Mary Pickford


Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la Rose, Paris, 1911


Dolores - Follies + frolics, 1918


Portrait of Mrs. Jacob Astor








Waterlillies - 1907/08


Still Life, Hydrangea - 1907


Still Life with Flowers - 1908


Ann Andrews


Helen Lee


Mmae Murray


Dorothy Smoller


Le comte Etienne de Beaumont


Ann Andrews


Gertrude Vanderbilt




Josephine Baker


Margaret Emma Alice Asquith


From the Shores of the Bosphorus


The Silver Skirt


The Cup


The Silver Cap


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