Bill Brandt / After the Theater, London / 1934Bill Brandt
After the Theater, London

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Creator Name: Brandt, Bill
Creator Nationality: European; British
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1904 - 1983
Biography: Bill Brandt British, b. Germany, 1904-1983Born Hermann Wilhelm Brandt in Hamburg, Germany, Bill Brandt became known for his social documentary photographs of the 1930s and his experimental series of nudes with distorted forms created in the 1940s-50s. Brandt, whose father was British, grew up in Germany and then spent six years in a Swiss tuberculosis sanatorium. In 1927 he continued his treatment in Vienna, where he underwent psychoanalysis. Following his recovery, he became an apprentice photographer in a portrait studio. From Vienna Brandt went to Paris, spending three months in 1929 as an assistant in Man Ray's studio. In 1931 he decided to move to England and work as a freelance photojournalist. Once in England he began making photographs for a variety of magazines, including Weekly Illustrated, Picture Post, Minotaure, Verve, Lilliput, Life, and Harper's Bazaar. In 1936 he published his first book, The English at Home, which documented the various social types comprised by England's class system. During the 1930s he also traveled to the Midlands and northern England to photograph industrial towns during the depression. At the end of the decade, he produced his second book, A Night in London (1938), commissioned by Arts et M├ętiers Graphiques, the publishers of Brassa├»'s Paris de Nuit (1933). That same year Brandt's work was featured in his first exhibition at the Galerie du Chasseur d'Images in Paris. Two years later, at the beginning of World War II, he was hired by the Ministry of Information to photograph bomb shelters and in 1941 went to work for the National Buildings Record documenting historic buildings and monuments endangered by air raids. After the war, Brandt turned to photographing the landscape and the female nude. For his ongoing nude studies he used a Kodak box camera with an antique wide-angle lens, which produced elongated and distorted images. Photographs from this series were included in his book Perspective of Nudes (1961). During the 1960s Brandt experimented with color photography and collage, and in 1969 was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, followed by retrospectives at the Royal Photographic Society, Bath (1981), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1985), and the Barbican Art Gallery, London (1993). M.M.
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Germany
Creator Name-CRT: Bill Brandt
Title: After the Theater, London
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1934
Creation End Date: 1934
Creation Date: 1934
Object Type: Photographs
Classification Term: Photography
Materials and Techniques: gelatin silver print
Dimensions: Sheet: 23.5cm x 20.3cm, Image: 23cm x 19.7cm
Inscriptions: Written in felt tip pen on verso: "T.B. 24"; "London/page 31"
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1986.187
Credit Line: John L. Severance Fund
Copyright: Copyright ? 1934 Bill Brandt
Context: During a career that spanned some 50 years, Bill Brandt created a remarkably varied body of work that made him the most important 20th-century British photographer. After the Theatre, London initially appeared in his first book, The English at Home (1936). Using a flash, Brandt created an other-worldly scene of a starkly illuminated taxicab and its tuxedoed passenger, the artist's brother. Although the image is documentary in style, it was meticulously staged by the photographer. Brandt sometimes made preparatory drawings for his photographs, and he often pressed family members and friends into service as models.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1986.187
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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