Arnold Newman (1918–2006), who died at age eighty-eight on June 6, 2006, was one of the great portrait photographers of his time. During his career he photographed many notable figures, particularly from the worlds of art and politics. He lived and worked in Philadelphia from 1938–46, and in 1945 his first solo exhibition, Artists Look Like This, was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It consisted of portraits of living visual artists, sometimes paired with a work by the subject.
This exhibition, drawn from the Museum collections in honor of Mr. Newman and our shared history, includes a number of photographs that were part of his 1945 show. Accompanying them is a selection of portraits by Newman’s contemporaries, both to offer a comparison of his work with that of others and to demonstrate the range of modern portrait photography.In addition to numerous artist portraits, the exhibition includes photographs of writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Truman Capote, and Theodore Dreiser, and performers such as Ina Claire, Cab Calloway, and Dame Judith Anderson. Among more than thirty photographers represented are August Sander, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Barbara Morgan, and W. Eugene Smith, as well as significant groups by Dorothy Norman and Carl Van Vechten, two artists whose work the Museum holds in depth.