About Erwin Blumenfeld

Erwin Blumenfeld was born in 1897, in Berlin, in a middle-class Jewish family.  After the death of his father, he worked as an intern in the clothing industry and served in the German army during the First World War. In 1918, he went to Holland; he married Lena Citroen, and opened a leather goods store in Amsterdam, in 1923, while he was trying to become a painter. During his 17 years in Holland, he got involved with the Dada movement, self-declaring himself the head of the Dutch Dada movement, under the pseudonym of Jan Bloomfield. In the beginning, he started by photographing customers in his store, and, subsequently, he exhibited his works in Van Lier gallery, in Amsterdam.  He declared bankruptcy in 1935 and went to Paris. There, he was presented to the world of fashion photography and to the French Vogue magazine by Cecil Beaton, who admired his works. During the Second World War, Blumenfeld spent one year in French concentration camps; he managed to move to the USA with his family in 1941, through Marseille. In New York, within a few years, he became one of the most famous fashion photographers of the USA. He continued to work with fashion and advertising until the beginning of the 1960s, when he dedicated his time to write his autobiography, "Eye to I". He passed away in Rome, in 1969.