“Arnold Newman: At Work” reveals creative process of portrait photographer

Newman_At_Work_Cover_300dpi“Arnold Newman: At Work” highlights archival materials from the Harry Ransom Center’s Arnold Newman archive to reveal a glimpse into the work of the photographer who created iconographic portraits of some of the most influential innovators, celebrities and cultural figures of the twentieth century. Written by Ransom Center Senior Research Curator of Photography Roy Flukinger, the book was published by University of Texas Press this spring.

A bold modernist with a superb sense of compositional geometry, Newman is known for a crisp, spare style that situates his subjects in their personal surroundings rather than in a photographer’s studio. Marlene Dietrich, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Arthur Miller, Salvador Dalí, and Pablo Picasso are only a few of his celebrated sitters.

Rich with materials from Newman’s extensive archive in the Ransom Center, the book 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 readers 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, NewsweekLookEsquireSeventeenTime, and Sports Illustrated show the range of Newman’s largely unknown editorial work.

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.

The book coincides with the Ransom Center’s current exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass, which runs through May 11. Featuring more than 200 of well-known masterworks, the exhibition also includes rarely seen work prints and contact sheets. Arnold Newman: Masterclass is the first major exhibition of the photographer’s work since his death and showcases the entire range of Newman’s photography, featuring many prints for the first time.