Martin Munkácsi

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Martin Munkácsi (born May 18, 1896 in Kolozsvár , Austria-Hungary ; † July 13, 1963 in New York , NY ; actually Márton Marmelstein or Mermelstein ) was an important reporter and fashion photographer of the 20th century.


Martin Munkácsi came from a Jewish family, his father Lipot Mermelstein was a craftsman. He Magyarized the family name in Munkácsi to avoid anti-Semitic discrimination. From 1912 Martin worked as a painter and sports reporter in Budapest. He began his career as a photographer as an autodidact. Despite difficult family circumstances - the father was an alcoholic - and despite little schooling, he managed to publish pictures in Budapest daily newspapers and sports magazines as early as the 1920s. In 1927 he worked as a photo reporter for various leading Berlin magazines . In May 1934 Munkácsi emigrated to the United States, where he began his career as a fashion photographer for Harper's Bazaar magazine . In 1936 he became an employee of Life magazine . Since the 1940s the photojournalist has been one of the pioneering fashion photographers in the USA.


Munkácsi combined his experiences in sports photography with fashion photography. With dynamism and unconventional perspectives, he presented fashion primarily in an everyday context. He revolutionized fashion photography by using special techniques to implement movement within the static medium of photography. In the sense of a "New See", his portrait and society photographs show a reality that was characterized by speed and technical progress, especially from the 1920s. a. through the medium of film. With his motto "Think while you shoot!" Munkácsi coined the idea that good photography is first made in the head, and inspired other world-class photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson :

"Probably in 1931 or 1932 I saw a photograph by your father of three black children running into the sea, and I must say that it is that very photograph which was for me the spark that set fire to the fireworks [...] and made me suddenly realize that photography could reach eternity through the moment. It is only that one photograph which influenced me " (Henri Cartier-Bresson in a letter to daughter Joan Munkácsi, May 25, 1977).


Web links