Eisenstaedt, Alfred


Eisenstaedt, Alfred
born Dec. 6, 1898, Dirschau, West Prussia
died Aug. 23, 1995, Oak Bluffs, Mass., U.S.

German-born U.S. photojournalist.

He became a professional photographer in Berlin in 1929 and came under the influence of Erich Salomon. His work appeared in many European picture magazines in the 1930s. In 1935 he immigrated to New York City, where he became one of the first four photographers hired by Life (1936). He would contribute more than 2,500 picture stories and 90 cover photos to the magazine, including outstanding portraits of kings, dictators, film stars, and ordinary people.

* * *

▪ 1996

      German-born U.S. photojournalist (b. Dec. 6, 1898, Dirschau, West Prussia [now Tczew, Poland]—d. Aug. 23, 1995, Oak Bluffs, Mass.), was best known for his work with Life magazine during a career that spanned some 70 years and lasted until shortly before his death. As a member of the staff from its beginning, he contributed about 2,500 stories and nearly 90 covers to that publication. Eisenstaedt's interest in taking pictures was sparked by the gift of a camera when he was 14. After service in the German army in World War I, he took up photography as a hobby but turned professional after he sold a photograph for publication. Eisenstaedt's acquisition of a Leica 35-mm camera freed him from the limitations that previous cameras, with their cumbersome glass plates and metal holders, had imposed, and he was able to take more easily the candid shots that were his specialty. A 1933 picture of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels glaring directly at the camera remained one of his best-known images. Eisenstaedt achieved international recognition in 1935 with his shot of the bare, cracked feet of an Ethiopian soldier fighting against the fascists. Later that year he left Nazi Germany for the U.S., and he began his career with Life the next year. Eisenstaedt photographed a great number of celebrities, but his most enduring images were those of more ordinary people: children joyously parading behind a drum major; a young audience enjoying a puppet theatre performance; and, his most famous—and Life's most-reproduced—photograph, a U.S. sailor exuberantly kissing a nurse in the midst of V-J Day celebrations in New York City's Times Square. His books include Witness to Our Time (1966), The Eye of Eisenstaedt (1969), and Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt (1985).

* * *

▪ American photographer
born December 6, 1898, Dirschau, West Prussia [now Tczew, Poland]
died August 23, 1995, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, U.S.

      pioneering German-American photojournalist whose images, many of them for Life magazine, established him as one of the first and most important photojournalists.

      Eisenstaedt served in the German army in World War I from 1916 to 1918, sustaining injuries in both legs. He became an enthusiastic amateur photographer, turning professional in 1929 and joining the lively photojournalism scene in Germany. During the 1920s and early '30s he was especially influenced by Erich Salomon (Salomon, Erich), a pioneer in documentary photography.

      Eisenstaedt was particularly skilled in the use of the 35-mm Leica camera. His work, often created in this format, had appeared in many European picture magazines by the early 1930s. He covered the rise of Adolf Hitler and in 1935 created a notable series of photographs of Ethiopia, just before the Italian invasion. That same year he immigrated to the United States, and in April 1936 he became one of the first four photographers hired by the new picture magazine Life. One of his images was published on the cover of the second issue, and he went on to become the leading Life photographer, eventually having some 2,500 photo-essays and 90 cover photos featured in the magazine.

      Eisenstaedt photographed kings, dictators, and motion picture stars, but he also sensitively portrayed ordinary people in workaday situations. His aim, he once said, was “to find and catch the storytelling moment.” Anthologies of his photographs include Witness to Our Time (1966), People (1973), and Eisenstaedt: Germany (1981). He described his life and work in The Eye of Eisenstaedt (1969).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • EISENSTAEDT, ALFRED — (1898–1995), photographer. Born in Dirschau, West Prussia (now Tczew, Poland), Eisenstaedt was the pre eminent photojournalist of his time, whose pioneering images for Life magazine helped define American photojournalism. Over a career that… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Eisenstaedt,Alfred — Ei·sen·staedt (īʹzən stăt ), Alfred. 1898 1995. German born American photographer who pioneered photojournalism with his unposed documentary photographs of daily life and historic events. * * * …   Universalium

  • Eisenstaedt, Alfred — (6 dic. 1898, Dirschau, Prusia occidental–23 ago. 1995, Oak Bluffs, Mass., EE.UU.). Reportero gráfico estadounidense de origen alemán. Se convirtió en fotógrafo profesional en Berlín en 1929, y fue influenciado por Erich Salomon. Su obra apareció …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Eisenstaedt, Alfred —  (1898–1995) German born American photographer …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Eisenstaedt — Alfred Eisenstaedt (* 6. Dezember 1898 in Dirschau (heute in Polen); † 24. August 1995 in New York City) war einer der einflussreichsten Fotoreporter des 20. Jahrhunderts. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Eisenstaedt — Eisenstaedt,   Alfred, amerikanischer Bildjournalist deutscher Herkunft, * Dirschau 6. 12. 1898, ✝ Martha s Vineyard (Massachusetts) 23. 8. 1995; Wegbereiter des modernen Bildjournalismus. Eisenstaedt emigrierte 1935 in die USA und… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Alfred — /al fred, frid/, n. a male given name: from the Old English words meaning elf and counsel. * * * I known as Alfred the Great born 849 died 899 King of Wessex (871–99) in southwestern England. He joined his brother Ethelred I in confronting a… …   Universalium

  • Alfred — (as used in expressions) Adler, Alfred Ayer, Sir A(lfred) J(ules) Binet, Alfred Birney, (Alfred) Earle Blalock, Alfred Brauchitsch, (Heinrich Alfred) Walther von Alfred Bryant Renton Leonard Alfred Schneider Alfred Gerald Caplin Cerf, Bennett… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Alfred Eisenstaedt — (* 6. Dezember 1898 in Dirschau (heute in Polen); † 24. August 1995 in New York City) war einer der einflussreichsten Fotoreporter des 20. Jahrhunderts. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alfred Eisenstaedt — (6 décembre 1898, Tczew 24 août 1995, New York) était un photographe et un photojournaliste américain d origine allemande. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Collections, expositions …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.