Arthur Leipzig (October 25, 1918 – December 5, 2014) was an American photographer who specialized in street photography and was known for his photographs of New York City.
Leipzig was born in Brooklyn. After sustaining a serious injury to his right hand while working at a glass wholesaler, Leipzig joined the Photo League where he studied photography, took part in Sid Grossman's Documentary Workshop, taught Advanced Technique classes for three years, and exhibited his work. From 1942 until 1946 he was a staff photographer for PM. He also studied under Paul Strand
before quitting the League to pursue a career as a freelance photojournalist.
In 1955 Leipzig's 1943 photograph King of the Hill
, depicting two little boys challenging each other on a sand heap, was selected by Edward Steichen
for the world-touring exhibition The Family of Man
at the Museum of Modern Art
in New York, that was seen by 9 million visitors.
Leipzig was a professor of art and the director of photography at the CW Post Campus of Long Island University from 1968–1991. In an effort to build his department and enhance the quality of photographic techniques, Leipzig recruited two well-known photojournalists, Louis Stettner and Ken Johnson (formerly a photo editor with Black Star) to his staff. He also recruited the now, highly regarded female photographer, Christine Osinski. Leipzig contributed his work to many publications including Fortune, Look
, and Natural History
, while continuing to pursue his independent projects. In 2004, he won the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art Photography.
Leipzig died in Sea Cliff, New York on December 5, 2014, aged 96.
Leipzig shot thousands of rolls of film over five decades, producing beautifully constructed yet socially powerful photographs that take a sincere look at street life. Among the most memorable are photo essays on children’s street games, city workers atop the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island, and V-Day. Leipzig candidly captured New York’s favorite personalities as Louis Prima, W.C. Handy and Mayor La Guardia. His assignment locales outside of New York City included Peru, Sudan, and the Sahara, as well as places closer to home like West Virginia, Kansas and Jones Beach.
Acclaimed as a sensitive and impassioned documentary photographer, Arthur Leipzig has always directed his camera toward the human condition and his deep love of people, shooting in a straightforward fashion, never forcing the moment but rather allowing a human story to transform simply and spontaneously. As a result, his photographs depict the human community with great intimacy and dynamic energy.
Source: Howard Greenberg Gallery
Arthur Leipzig's photography is represented in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum
, The National Portrait Gallery
, The Jewish Museum
, and The Bibliothèque nationale de France
. His solo exhibitions include Arthur Leipzig: a World View
at the Howard Greenberg Gallery
, Growing Up in New York
at the Museum of the City of New York, Jewish Life Around the World
at the Nassau County Museum of Fine Art.
Source: Jackson Fine Art