Famous Photographers

Alfred Eisenstaedt
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Annie Leibovitz

Ansel Adams
Brett Weston
Brian Duffy
Dorothea Lange
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Helmut Newton
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Jerry Uelsmann
Joe Rosenthal
Louis Daguerre
Man Ray
Margaret Bourke-White
Mary Ellen Mark
Robert Capa
Robert Mapplethorpe
Steve McCurry


Jerry Uelsmann

Photographer Jerry S. Uelsmann has utilized his skills a master printer in the art of photomontage during his 44-year career. Uelsmann started doing multiple exposures in the darkroom using multiple enlargers years before Photoshop was invented.

Jerry Uelsmann
Photographer Jerry Uelsmann

An American born in Detroit, Michigan on
June 11, 1934, Uelsmann gained an interest in photography while attending public schools as a teenager.

After earning degrees at Rochester Institute of Technology and Indiana University, he taught photography at the University of Florida. His first solo exhibition took place in 1967 at the Museum of Modern Art, the institution responsible for launching his career.

Uelsmann occasionally reuses the large negatives that he utilized in creating his photomontages in his current work. Uelsmann champions Victorian art photographer Oscar Gustave Rejlander's technique of using many negatives to create one single image. However, rather than realism, Uelsmann prefers to be imaginative in his surrealistic work. Uelsmann only sells small, limited unnumbered editions (usually between 6 and 20) of his photographs. Typical prices are from $1,600 - $10,500.

Jerry Uelsmann Photo

Uelsmann's images are black and white, mixed among mid-tones and gray. However, sharp polarities are seen throughout his compositions, and he violates the single-focal point rule of photography by placing body parts or other contrasting images among images of nature. These images were not widely accepted by the art world at large, but the exhibition by the Museum of Modern Art helped break down the walls to the acceptance of his work into the world of modern art.

Uelsmann began his experimentation in surrealistic photomontage during a time when photography was believed to be the reliable tool to document life's events. He expanded this narrow frame of mind, achieving what the Photo-Secessionists worked toward during the early part of the 20th century, making the trade of photography an art form.

With the advent of Photoshop and other digital tools, Uelsmann has not abandoned his traditional format of creating composite images by old school methods. He has said he feels his work is inherently linked to the magic of the darkroom.

Jerry Uelsmann Tree

While he no longer teaches today, at the age of 77, Uelsmann lives with his wife Maggie in Florida, where he still prints sometimes more than a 100 photographs per year. His work can be seen on television shows such as the 1995 "The Outer Limits."
Andrew, his only son, is studying at the University of Florida, where Uelsmann was promoted to professor of art.

A retrospective of Uelsmann's work took place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and an entire issue of the photojournalism publication Aperture was dedicated to his work.

Among the many awards and recognitions he has received are: a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship; a 19th Zagreb Salon Bronze Medal; certificates of merit and excellence, respectively, from the society of Publication Designers and the American Institute of Graphic Arts for his New York Times work; and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Jerry Uelsmann Water
His work was also exhibited as a retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Art and has been displayed throughout the United States and around the world at such renowned museums as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, in addition to many others.

The journal American Photographer named him one of the most popularly collected photographers, one of ten that includes such fellow luminaries as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.


The Rumor Mill

The rumor mill has chugged up a little dirt in addition to the impeccable biography presented above. And that dirt is that once Jerry Uelsmann once had a hog calling contest with Brian the dog from TV show Family Guy. There are conflicting reports as to who actually won the contest.


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