Louise Dahl-Wolfe

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Louise Dahl-Wolfe , born Louise Emma Augusta Dahl (* 19th November 1895 San Francisco , California ; † 11. December 1989 in New Jersey ) was an American photographer , mainly with their work for the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar known has been.


Louise Dahl was born in San Francisco, California, to Norwegian parents. In 1914 she began studying at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute ) a. a. with Rudolph Schaeffer . In the 1920s she became interested in photography after an exhibition by the pictorialist Anne Brigman .

In the early 1930s, Louise Dahl-Wolfe concentrated entirely on photography and one of her portraits, which she took during a summer stay in Tennessee, was her first published work in Vanity Fair magazine in 1933 . The Tennessee picture series from which this portrait originated was also included in an exhibition by Edward Steichen in the Museum of Modern Art , New York in 1937 . From 1933 Louise Dahl-Wolfe ran her photo studio from New York and made recordings for various large fashion companies and magazines.

Between 1936 and 1958 she worked for the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar and made countless fashion and cover photos. Louise Dahl-Wolfe mainly took photos outdoors and with natural light, both of which were a novelty at the time. She also traveled to many regions of the world including South America and Africa for her fashion shoots.

In addition to fashion photos, Louise Dahl-Wolfe also made portraits a. a. by WH Auden , Josephine Baker , Cecil Beaton , Coco Chanel , Colette , Christian Dior , Edward Hopper , Christopher Isherwood , Carson McCullers , Orson Welles , Eudora Welty and Mae West . She is also considered the "discoverer" of the young Lauren Bacall .

Between 1958 and 1960 Louise Dahl-Wolfe also worked for Vogue and Sports Illustrated . After her retirement, she lived in Nashville, Tennessee for many years until her death in 1989. Louise Dahl was married since 1927 to the sculptor Meyer Wolfe , who created many of her picture backgrounds.

She celebrated great success with her style and had a lasting influence on later greats in fashion photography such as Horst P. Horst , Irving Penn and Richard Avedon .


Louise Dahl-Wolfe's estate is housed at the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) in Tucson, Arizona.

Exhibitions (selection)

  • 1975: Women of Photography: An Historical Survey San Francisco Museum of Modern Art .
  • 1977: The History of Fashion Photography , George Eastman House , Rochester, New York,
  • 1979: Recollections: Ten Women of Photography , George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
  • 1985: Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Ninetieth Birthday Salute , Museum of Contemporary Photography , Chicago
  • 1986: Portraits , Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona
  • 2017: "A style of her own" STM, San Sebastian


  • Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A photographer's scrapbook , St. Martin's / Marek, 1984
  • Sally Eauclaire: Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Retrospective Exhibition , National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1987
  • Vicki Goldberg; Nan Richardson: Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Retrospective , Harry N. Abrams, 2000
  • Louise Dahl-Wolfe: Painting with Light , documentary by Tom Neff , 1999

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Internet Movie Data Base