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50 Masters of Photography
21-30: Hurrell to Misrach

By Mason Resnick

Who are the most influential photographers of the (mostly) black-and-white film photography era? Here's my very subjective list. Yes, you'll have your turn to add your faves in the comments, below. Here's Part III.
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21: George Hurrell

During Hollywood's Golden Era, publicity photos had the power to make or break stars. George Hurrell, who perfected the "glamour" portrait, was the most sought after glamour photographer by the big names and the wanna-be's.

Recommended reading:

22: Andre Kertesz

Kertesz used the camera to transform the chaos of the street into lyrical scenes. A brilliant, influential teacher and artist.

Recommended reading:

23: William Klein

William Klein's involvement with photography yielded an influential body of work that has been called confrontational and immediate. They seem to be a furious protest against the establishment. Uncompromising and bold, the images are mostly street photos that stare when others would avert their gaze. He almost dares you to look at them.

Recommended reading:

24: Josef Koudelka

A protege of Carter-Bresson, the first printing of Koudelka's book about Gypsies is a collector's item. Koudelka's documentary photos highlight the dignity of Eastern Europe's Gypsies, despite their often squalid living conditions.

Recommended reading:

25: Dorothea Lange

Best known for her famous photos of the Depression, including Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, Lange was active from the 1920s to the early 1960s and was one of the most influential photographers in American history.

Recommended reading:

26: Annie Leibovitz

One of today's most influential and admired artists, renowned for her vivid and distinctive style, Annie Leibovitz is an American original and a master of self-promotion. Her portraits of Bruce Springsteen, Jody Foster, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, Greg Louganis, Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Lennon and more combine a keen eye with a quick wit.

Recommended reading:

27: Robert Mapplethorpe

His sometimes graphic homoerotic photos challenged the established morality of the times, but his flower photos were considerably less controversial works that showed a subtle genious unencumbered by the baggage of his more infamous work. His Flowers collection, photos taken as he was dying of AIDS, is a symbolic look at life, death and sensuality.

Recommended reading:

28: Vivian Meier

One of the greatest photographers of the 20th century was unknown until after her death in the 21st century. Street photographer Vivian Meier's work was discovered by accident by collector John Maloof, and as her work has been scanned, catalogued, exhibited and published it has become apparent that she was a visual virtuoso, a genius with her mostly square-format camera. Her enigmatic story is topped only by the spectacular quality of her work, which, intriguingly, is so vast it has not yet been fully catalogued.

Recommended reading:

29: Joel Meyerowitz

Joel Meyerowitz is a master of the color image. His exquisitely printed collections include his lyrical landscapes and detailed portraiture that share an autobiographical feel, and a strong sense of place. But he's also known for his street photography, both in color and black-and-white.

Recommended reading:

30: Richard Misrach

Misrach's technically perfect images portray American landscapes that have seen the heavy hand of developers, the military and polluters. The serene, understated approach Misrach often employs lies in stark contrast to the ecological damage his work depicts.

Recommended reading:

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Agree? Disagree? Who would you put on your list? Leave a comment!

50 Masters of Photography 1-10

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