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Bunny Yeager
Bunny Yeager

Bunny Yeager

Country: United States
Birth: 1929 | Death: 2014

Linnea Eleanor "Bunny" Yeager was an American photographer and pin-up model. She was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, to Raymond Conrad and Linnea (née Sherlin) Yeager on March 13, 1929. Her family moved to Florida when she was 17. She adopted the nickname "Bunny" from Lana Turner's character Bunny Smith in the 1945 movie Week-End at the Waldorf. The nickname has also been attributed to her portrayal of the Easter Bunny in a high school play. Bunny Yeager graduated from Miami Edison High School and afterward enrolled at the Coronet Modeling School and Agency. She won numerous local beauty pageants including in rapid succession Queen of Miami, Florida Orchid Queen, Miss Trailercoach of Dade County, Miss Army & Air Force, Miss Personality of Miami Beach, Queen of the Sports Carnival and Cheesecake Queen of 1951.

Yeager became one of the most photographed models in Miami. Photos of Yeager appeared in over 300 newspapers and magazines. She also designed and sewed many of the outfits she and her models wore, at one time boasting that she never wore the same outfit twice while modeling. She designed and produced hundreds of bikinis when the two-piece swimsuit was a new fashion item and is credited with its popularity in America. Bruno Banani, the German fashion company, has developed a line of swimwear based on Yeager's designs from the 1950s.

Yeager entered photography to save money by copying her modeling photographs, enrolling in a night class at a vocational school in 1953. Her career as a professional photographer began when a picture of Maria Stinger, taken for her first school assignment, was sold to Eye magazine for the cover of the March 1954 issue. She became a technically skilled photographer noted for, among other things, her early use of the fill flash technique to lighten dark shadows when shooting in bright sun. Yeager was one of the first photographers to photograph her models outdoors with natural light. Matt Schudel wrote in the Washington Post that her images were vivid and dynamic, going on to say, "She favored active poses and a direct gaze at the camera lens, in what could be interpreted alternately as playful innocence or pure lust."

She met Bettie Page in 1954, and took most of the photographs of her that year. During their brief collaboration, she took over 1,000 pictures of Page. Along with photographer Irving Klaw, Yeager played a role in helping to make Page famous, particularly with her photos in Playboy magazine. American Photo magazine described Yeager's work with Page as "a body of imagery that remains some of the most memorable — and endearing — erotica on record" in a 1993 article. The most famous images of Page by Yeager include the January 1955 Playboy centerfold in which she kneels wearing only a Santa hat while hanging a silver ornament on a Christmas tree and a series of photographs with a pair of live cheetahs.

Yeager was a very prolific and successful pinup photographer in the 1950s and 1960s, so much so, that her work was described as ubiquitous in that era. She continued to work extensively with Playboy shooting eight centerfolds in addition to covers and pictorial spreads. She discovered Lisa Winters, the first Playmate of the Year. Yeager also appeared in the magazine as a model five times. One appearance with the headline, "Queen of the Playboy Centerfolds", was photographed by Hugh Hefner.

Her work was also published in mainstream magazines including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Pageant, Redbook and Women's Wear Daily. The famous still images she took of Ursula Andress emerging from the water on the beach in Jamaica for the 1962 James Bond film Dr. No are probably her best-known bikini photographs. She discovered many notable models. In the 1970s as men's magazines became more anatomically graphic Yeager largely stopped photographing for them, saying they were somewhat "smutty" and that, "They had girls showing more than they should." In 1998 she stated, "The kind of photographs they wanted was something I wasn't prepared to do."

An exhibition titled Beach Babes Bash in the early 1990s at the Center for Visual Communication (at that time located in Coral Gables, Florida) featured photographs by Yeager of models from Miami on the beach from the 1950s. Another exhibit at the same gallery featuring Yeager's work was titled Sex Sirens of the Sixties. In 1992 Playboy published a retrospective of her work titled The Bettie Boom. Since 2002, Yeager's work has been exhibited in contemporary art galleries.

In early 2010, The Andy Warhol Museum held the first major museum exhibition of Yeager's work. The exhibit, The Legendary Queen of the Pin Up, featured her self-portraits, some from her book How I Photograph Myself published by A.S. Barnes & Co. in 1964. The Fabulous Bunny Yeager an exhibit in 2011 at the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami also featuring self-portraits by Yeager was of photographs that had not been exhibited previously. Also in 2011 Helmut Schuster curated an exhibition for Art Basel at the Dezer Schauhalle in Miami titled Bunny Yeager: Retrospective to the Future featuring over 200 of Yeager's photos. Included were some images that had not been shown before of models including Bettie Page.

In 2012 Bunny Yeager had two exhibitions in Germany, Funland at Gallery Schuster Potsdam and Femme Fatale in December 2012 at Gallery Schuster Berlin. The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale held a 2013 exhibit, Bunny Yeager: Both Sides of the Camera featuring her photographs of herself, Page, and model Paz de la Huerta. The exhibit also included some of Yeager's first new pictures in twenty years. Yeager had a show at the Sofia Vault in Sofia, Bulgaria in October 2013. The Gavlak Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida put on an exhibit, Bunny Yeager: Selections from How I Photograph Myself in 2014. The Sin City Gallery in Las Vegas held a posthumous exhibit, Bunny's Bombshells, from June 5 to July 20 2014.

She had her own studio in the Wynwood Art District of Miami, part of the Center for Visual Communication. There is a "Bunny Yeager Lounge" in Berlin which is open to the public and shows photos, memorabilia and movies. Yeager was also founding editor and publisher of a trade magazine for entertainment professionals, Florida Stage & Screen. As of 1998 her 24 books had sold over 1 million copies. Bunny Yeager was married twice, first to Arthur Irwin who died in 1977 and then to Harry Schaefer who died in 2000.[5] She had two daughters, Lisa and Cherilu. Yeager died on May 25, 2014 of congestive heart failure at age 85 in North Miami, Florida.

Source: Wikipedia


 

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Morris Engel
United States
1918 | † 2005
Morris Engel (April 8, 1918 - March 5, 2005) was an American photographer, cinematographer and filmmaker best known for making the first American film "independent" of Hollywood studios, Little Fugitive (1953), in collaboration with his wife, photographer Ruth Orkin, and their friend, writer Raymond Abrashkin. Engel was a pioneer in the use of hand-held cameras and nonprofessional actors in his films, cameras that he helped design, and his naturalistic films influenced future prominent independent and French New Wave filmmakers. A lifelong New Yorker, Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn in 1918. After joining the Photo League in 1936, Engel had his first exhibition in 1939, at the New School for Social Research. He worked briefly as a photographer for the Leftist newspaper PM before joining the United States Navy as a combat photographer from 1941 to 1946 in World War II. After the war, he returned to New York where he again was an active Photo League member, teaching workshop classes and serving as co-chair of a project group focusing on postwar labor issues. In 1953, Engel, along with his girlfriend, fellow photographer Ruth Orkin, and his former colleague at PM, Raymond Abrashkin, made the feature film Little Fugitive for $30,000, shooting the film on location in Coney Island with a hand-held 35 millimeter camera Engel had designed himself. This camera was compact and lightweight so it would be unobtrusive shooting in public. As such, it did not allow simultaneous sound recording; the sound was dubbed later. The film, one of the first successful American "independent films" earned them an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival. The film told the story of a seven-year-old boy, played by Richie Andrusco, who runs away from home and spends the day at Coney Island. Andrusco never appeared in another film, and the other performers were mainly nonprofessional. Though their first film was a critical success, Engel and Orkin, who had since married, had a hard time finding funding for their next film, Lovers and Lollipops, which was completed in 1956. The film was about a widowed mother dating an old friend, and how her young daughter complicates their budding relationship. Like the first one, Lovers and Lollipops was filmed with a hand-held compact 35 mm camera, with sound dubbed in post-production. This was followed two years later by the more adult-centered Weddings and Babies, a film about an aspiring photographer than is often seen as autobiographical. This was Engel's first film to have live sound recorded at the time of filming, and is historically the first 35 mm fiction film made with a portable camera equipped for synchronized sound. In 1961, Engel directed three television commercials, including an award-winning one for Oreo cookies. The other two were for Ivory soap and Fab detergent. A half-hour short film The Dog Lover was made the following year, a comedy about a shop merchant whose life is turned upside down by the stray dog his kid brings home. He made a fourth feature in 1968 called I Need a Ride to California, which followed a group of young hippies in Greenwich Village. Post-production was shelved until 1972 when it was finally completed, but for unknown reasons, it was never released during his lifetime. It finally received its premiere in October 2019 at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); it was first released on home video in March 2021. In the 1980s, Engel began taking panoramic photographs on the streets of New York City. Engel and Ruth Orkin remained married until Orkin's death in 1985. In the 1990s, he returned to filmmaking, this time working on video. He completed two feature-length documentaries: A Little Bit Pregnant in 1994 and Camellia in 1998, each revolving around a different child in the Hartman family. First, in A Little Bit Pregnant Engel focused on the 8-year-old Leon's reactions, anxiety and wonderment to the impending birth of his baby sister Camellia. For the second film, two years later, Engel returned to the same family, who gave him a year of access to the now 2-year-old daughter Camellia, capturing her daily life and routines, and her relationships with her family and others. Both films were shown in private screenings, but never had a public release due likely to the Hartman family presumably holding the rights. Engel died of cancer in 2005.Source: Wikipedia Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents from Lithuania. An early interest in photography led him to enroll in a class at New York’s Photo League, a group dedicated to raising social consciousness through modern photography. Some of the most influential photographers of the time were associated with the Photo League; Engel worked closely with Aaron Siskind on the project Harlem Document from 1936-40 and later assisted Paul Strand in filming Native Land. Like many Photo League photographers, Engel documented life in New York City, producing and exhibiting photo essays on Coney Island, the Lower East Side and Harlem. In 1939 he had his first exhibition at New York’s New School. In 1940 he joined the staff of the newspaper PM, but he left the publication one year later to sign on with the U.S. Navy as a member of a combat photo unit. He participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. In 1951 Engel momentarily quit still photography to pursue a career in filmmaking. He made a series of low-budget films with a custom 35 mm camera. His first feature film, Little Fugitive (made with his wife, the renowned photographer Ruth Orkin), earned an Academy Award nomination in 1953 for Best Original Screenplay and was screened in more than 5,000 theaters across the United States. Engel’s photographs are widely exhibited and found in the collections of the International Center of Photography (New York), the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.). His films continue to be screened at venues such as the Whitney Museum of Art (New York), the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of the Moving Image (New York).Source: American Photography Archives Group
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In Boyhood (published by Damiani) Roger Ballen's photographs and stories leads us across the continents of Europe, Asia and North America in search of boyhood: boyhood as it is lived in the Himalayas of Nepal, the islands of Indonesia, the provinces of China, the streets of America. Each stunning black-and-white photograph-culled from 15,000 images shot during Ballen's four-year quest-depicts the magic of adolescence revealed in their games, their adventures, their dreams, their Mischief. More of an ode than a documentary work, Ballen's first book is as powerful and current today as it was 43 years ago-a stunning series of timeless images that transcend social and cultural particularities.
Exclusive Interview with Kim Watson
A multi-dimensional artist with decades of experience, Kim Watson has written, filmed, and photographed subjects ranging from the iconic entertainers of our time to the ''invisible'' people of marginalized communities. A highly influential director in music videos' early days, Watson has directed Grammy winners, shot in uniquely remote locations, and written across genres that include advertising, feature films for Hollywood studios such as Universal (Honey), MTV Films, and Warner Brothers, and publishers such as Simon & Schuster. His passionate marriage of art and social justice has been a life-long endeavor, and, in 2020, after consulting on Engagement & Impact for ITVS/PBS, Kim returned to the streets to create TRESPASS, documenting the images and stories of LA's unhoused. TRESPASS exhibited at The BAG (Bestor Architecture Gallery) in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, September 17, 2022 – October 11, 2022.
Exclusive Interview with Julia Dean, Founder of the L.A. Project
Julia Dean, Founder of the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and its executive director for twenty-two years, began The L.A. Project in 2021. A native Nebraskan, Julia has long sought to create a special project where love for her adopted L.A., and her passion for documentary photography can be shared on a grander scale.
Call for Entries
Solo Exhibition April 2023
Win an Online Solo Exhibition in April 2023