A driven perfectionist with inexhaustible curiosity about people, Arnold Newman was one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most prolific photographers. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades and produced many iconic works, Newman became renowned for making “pictures of people” (he objected to the term “portraits”) in the places where they worked and lived—the spaces that were most expressive of their inner lives. Refusing the label of “art photographer,” Newman also accepted magazine and advertising commissions and executed them to the same exacting standards that characterized all of his work. He spent countless hours training aspiring photographers, sharing his own vast experience, but allowing them the freedom to experiment and discover.
Rich with materials from Newman’s extensive archive in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, Arnold Newman offers unprecedented, firsthand insights into the evolution of the photographer’s creativity. Reproduced here are not only many of Newman’s signature images, but also contact sheets, Polaroids, and work prints with his handwritten notes, which allow us to see the process by which he produced the images. Pages from his copious notebooks and calendars reveal Newman’s meticulous preparation and exhausting schedule. Adsheets and magazine covers from Holiday, LIFE, Newsweek, Look, Esquire, Seventeen, Time, and Sports Illustrated show the range of Newman’s largely unknown editorial work. Roy Flukinger provides a contextual overview of the archive, and Marianne Fulton’s introduction highlights the essential moments in the development of Newman’s life and work.