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20th Century Photographers Part 3 - Livres du Mois

In April's Livres du Mois I recap once more some of the photographers that I have written about this year with a collection of books of their work. Some of the photographers I have featured on the Compendium are so niche that they have no written material to share, which ironically are also some of the most interesting photographers, so those individuals are missing from the list. Organised in chronological order, we begin with Melvin Sokolsky.


Seeing Fashion


Melvin Sokolsky

Melvin Sokolsky was an American photographer and film director, best know for the fashion photography "Bubble" series depicting fashion models "floating" in giant clear plastic bubbles suspended in midair. He created some of history’s most memorable fashion photographs.

"Sokolsky records these almost otherworldly spectacles with the same attention of passerby looking in disbelief; breaking away from the static, calculated imagery associated with fashion images to a more spontaneous and creative scene. The Bubble series have had a lasting influence on the future creativity of fashion magazines; they have become icons of both creativity and beauty."


Herbert Tobias


"Herbert Tobias was a German photographer who first became well known for his fashion photography during the 1950s. He is best remembered for his portrait studies, his photographs of Russia during World War II and his homoerotic pictures of men in the Weimar Republic. With more than 100 photographs, the book presents his work for the first time in chronological order."




Lillian Bassman

Lillian Bassman was an American photographer and painter, best know for photographing her model subjects primarily in black and white, with high contrasts between light and dark, a graininess to the finished photos, and geometric placement and camera angles of the subjects. Her work was published for the most part in Harper's Bazaar from 1950 to 1965. Bassman became one of the great woman photographers in the world of fashion in the 20th Century.


The Platinum Years


Bob Willoughby

Bob Willoughby was an American photographer. Popular Photography called him "The man who virtually invented the photojournalistic motion picture still."

Much of Willoughby's popularity stemmed from his ability to capture film stars in unguarded moments of repose and vulnerability. Director Sydney Pollack said in the introduction to Bob's autobiography: "Sometimes a filmmaker gets a look at a photograph taken on his own set and sees the 'soul' of his film in one still photograph."


Sid Avery

The Art of the

Hollywood Snapshot

Sid Avery was an American photographer and director who was best known for capturing the private moments of legendary Hollywood celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn.


Frank Horvat

Please don't smile

Frank Horvat was an Italian photographer who lived and worked in France. He is best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid 1950s and the late 1980s. Horvat's photographic opus includes photojournalism, portraiture, landscape, nature, and sculpture.

“Please don’t smile” was a directive Horvat often used during his photo shoots. He was not interested in artificial smiles. Images defined by elegance, dynamics and perfection: with his unique visual language, Frank Horvat is considered one of the most important photographers of the 20th century.


I hope you have found something of interest amongst this collection of photographers, but if not, there may be something more to your tastes in the Compendium's Library.


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