Masters of photography: Arnold Newman

Arnold Newman: The master of the Environmental Portrait

Born in New York in 1918, Arnold Newman is one of the greats of American photography. The inventor of what became known as environmental portraiture, Newman photographed some of the most famous and well-respected people of his day, all surrounded by their life, work, and style, including Pablo Picasso, Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Piet Mondrian, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, and Audrey Hepburn, to name a few.

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Ben Gurion

Early life and career

Although born in New York and initially raised in Atlantic City, Newman spent most of his childhood in Palm Beach, Florida.

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Aaron Copland, Peekskill, New York, 1959

It was here that he first discovered his love for art, and in 1936 he enrolled at the University of Miami to study painting and drawing, his two first loves.

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Brassai, New York, 1976

After completing two years of successful study, he came upon financial problems, and so had to drop out before the start of his third year. It was this that made the decision for him to move back to the East Cost, settling in Philadelphia where he worked for a photographic studio making cheap, 49c portraits for tourists.

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Thurgood Marshall

Having lived back East for four years, Newman returned to the West Coast in 1942, to manage a photography studio in West Palm Beach. His success here led him to open his own studio soon after in Miami Beach, near to where he had spent his childhood.

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Salvador Dali, 1951

Later success

After living and working in Miami beach for some time, and experiencing considerable success with his photographic work, Newman than relocated once again, this time to New York, where he set up Arnold Newman Studios, a freelance photography studio.