An original Broadway photograph of an unknown male performer by the noted NY photographer Ben Pinchot (1890-1986). This is an original vintage silver gelatin photograph on a glossy surface paper in good condition. Stamped on the verso with the name of the photographer. This particular print was pulled from an album and thus it has some of the album page residue on the back. Also, there are some minor surface imperfections along the sides to be sure to look at the detail photos provided. Also, depending on your monitor settings, this photo has a slight yellowish/sepia tone to it that may not be obvious in the scan. This is an excellent example of Pinchot's work and would be a great addition to fine photograph collection. Measures 8 x 10 inches, sold unframed as found.
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Some information about the photographer by Dr. David S. Shields, McClintock Professor at the University of South Carolina:
BEN PINCHOT (1890-1986)
Ben Pinchot established his photographic studio in 1927 renting the fifth floor of the building on the northeast corner of 48th Street & Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. He immediately made an impression as a new talent among theatrical photographers. In December 1932 he declared bankruptcy, in order to break his lease, and listed liabilities of 73K$ and no assets. In 1933, after the bankruptcy was discharged, he moved with his wife, the novelist Ann Pinchot to an apartment at #52 52nd Street, the raffish center of jazz and after-hours nightlife in Manhattan. There he fashioned a studio in the apartment and his wife hosted a famous salon where the musicians playing on 'Swing Street,' actors, and writers consorted. From 1933 until the birth of their daughter in 1937, the apartment was one of the vibrant centers of artistic life in the city. In 1935 he published with Bridgman Publishers (with a concurrent London publication by John Lane) a collection of black & white drape shots & nudes, Female Form. 1934 marked the year of his arrival as a force in the market, when he suddenly became an A-list photographer, one whom a producer or a magazine editor would call first (Florence Vandamm or Alfredo Valente were also on that list.) In the mid-1940s they moved to Stamford Connecticut and became active in civic life there. The Pinchots enjoyed a collaborative marriage, with Ben contributing images and sometimes prose to Ann's books, particularly 1949's HEAR THIS WOMAN. One offshoot of his involvement with his wife's literary engagements was his increasing interest in photographing authors. In the late 1930s and early 1940s his portraits of novelists and poets were ubiquitous in American newspapers and magazines. NOTES: NYT 5-4-1927, 34. NYT 12-29-1932, 36. NYT 4-24-1955, 84.
Ben Pinchot possessed a dramatic sense of lighting, frequently positioning spots (stark or diffused) above a sitter. He had a painterly sense of print tone and a quirky taste for capturing performers at their most extreme. His initial impression was made with extraverts behaving extravagently. But in the late 1930s, when he became enamored of photographing writers, he developed a knack for communicating the character of introverts. Pinchot shot portraits, theater production shots, prop photography, and occasional experimental prints that he bestowed on artist friends. His nudes were among the best of the 1930s. Prior to 1934, because money was often scarce, Pinchot would undertake assignments of any sort for periodicals, including architectural photography and events. After 1934, when he 'arrived,' he concentrated on character studies of dancers, actors, and operatic singers, nudes, artistic experiments, and scene shots of plays and operas that interested him.
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