In the after-currents of World War II, avant-garde strategies in photography and design reached the United States via European émigrés, including Bauhaus artists forced out of Nazi Germany. The unmistakable aesthetic made popular by such magazines as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue — whose art directors, Alexey Brodovitch and Alexander Liberman, were both immigrants and accomplished photographers — emerged from a distinctly American combination of innovation, inclusiveness, and pragmatism.

Featuring over 150 works including photographs, layouts, and cover designs, the exhibition considers the connections and influences of designers and photographers such as Richard Avedon, Lillian Bassman, Lester Beall, Margaret Bourke-White, Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, William Klein, Lisette Model, Gordon Parks, Irving Penn, Cipe Pineles, and Paul Rand.


Modern Look: Photography and the American Magazine is organized by Mason Klein, Senior Curator, The Jewish Museum.

The exhibition is made possible by The Mimi and Barry J. Alperin Family Fund, a gift from the estate of Gaby and Curtis Hereld, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Heidi and Richard Rieger, Wyeth Foundation for American Art, Lisa S. Pritzker, Ronit and Bill Berkman, John and Helga Klein, and Ellen Schwartz Harris. Additional support is provided by The Skirball Fund for American Jewish Life Exhibitions, Horace W. Goldsmith Exhibitions Endowment Fund, The Alfred J. Grunebaum & Ruth Grunebaum Sondheimer Memorial Fund, and other generous donors.


First Text

Portrait of Helen Frankenthaler, 1957