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Video.: Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Painting With Light. By youtube.com/user/DocChannel.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe credited her early art-school training in color, form and composition for her success as a photographer. Her portrait photography is legendary; she has 'discovered' the teenage Lauren Bacall. Louise Dahl-Wolfe was a pioneer in the technique of color photography.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe:
Fashion Forward


20 March - 30 August 2009
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.



30 and 40ies 'New Realism' in fashion photography

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. exhibits the work of the American photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895–1989) who has influenced with her style the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar in times of fashion editor Diana Vreeland from 1936 to 1958. Dahl-Wolfe is one of the most important women in the history of photography.

At the same time as the 'Neo Realismo' by Italian filmmakers such as Roberto Rosselini happens outside of "Cinecittà", the photographer Dahl-Wolfe brought a 'new realism' into the world of fashion photography which was dominated in the 30ies and 40ies by unnatural studio settings and mannequin-like poses.

On the photographs of Dahl-Wolfe you will see models outdoor in natural light. Dahl-Wolfe introduced a witty, relaxed and natural aspect to fashion photography and, in the process, helped define the post-war look of American women.

Her work is often cited as a significant influence on later photographers like Richard Avedon.

Curator Deborah Gaston, director of education at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, has selected for this exhibition 29 black-and-white photographs that range from humorous juxtapositions of human models with famous paintings and sculptures, to glamorous shots of fashions by design luminaries Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, and Claire McCardell www.nmwa.org.


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