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Arnold Newman

NEWMAN, ARNOLD (1918– ), U.S. photographer. Born in New York, Newman studied art at the University of Miami (1936–38) but did not complete his studies due to financial difficulties, and became a photographer's apprentice in Philadelphia. In 1945 he moved to New York, where he did freelance photojournalism for such publications as Life, Look, Newsweek, The New Yorker, Esquire, and Fortune. He specialized in portraiture, developing a style that did not necessarily flatter the subject but revealed his personality. Implementing an approach known as "environmental portraiture," he used as background associations and symbols connected with the life and work of the person he was photographing. Igor Stravinsky, for example, was shown seated at the extreme left of the picture, the lid of his grand piano serving to emphasize the character of the composer. Brooks Atkinson, the critic, was photographed sitting in an empty theater, where the seats created a pattern of forms and highlights. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was shown with the 1948 Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel. Over the decades, Newman photographed most of the major celebrities and public figures of the 20th century. His photographs are exhibited in many of the world's major art museums.

Newman's published works include One Mind's Eye (1974), Arnold Newman: Five Decades (1986), Tropical Rain-forest (1990), Arnold Newman's Americans (1992), and Arnold Newman (with P. Brookman, 2000).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.