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Guide to the André Kertész photographs, 1919-1984

Summary

Collection of 31 black-and-white photographs by André Kertész provides a sampling of his compositional styles and topical interests. Taken from 1919 through 1984, the images chiefly feature street scenes from Paris (1920-1984), and several each from Budapest and New York City. There are also two female nude studies from his 1930s series "Distortions," two still lifes, and several landscapes. The majority of the gelatin silver prints are sized 8x10 inches, with four measuring 11x14 inches. On the backs are various markings, including dates and identifying marks by Kertész and others, with many bearing a Kertész estate stamp. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11566
Title
André Kertész photographs
Date
1919-1984
Extent
1.0 Linear Feet, 2 boxes
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Content Description

Collection of 31 black-and-white prints by noted photographer André Kertész provides a portfolio representing the full range of his compositional styles and topical interests. Taken from 1919 through the 1980s, the end years of his career, the images chiefly feature street scenes from Paris in the 1920s and 1930s and 1980s, with a few street scenes from Budapest (1919 and 1920), and a handful from New York City from his later years in that city, with one from 1939. There are two photographs from the 1930s series "Distortions," featuring female nudes with distortion effects. Several images include cats and dogs. There are a handful of landscapes with no known location, and two still lifes.

The majority of the prints are sized 8x10 inches, with four measuring 11x14 inches. They bear various markings on the backs, including crop marks, dates, and identifying marks by Kertész and others. All but five are marked with the Kertész estate stamp; several bear the photographer's stamp.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Prints are arranged chronologically by year.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research. Images may only be used for educational, non-commercial purposes; any other use requires the photographer's permission.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], André Kertész photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Buildings on hillside, Budafolk, 1919

Budafolk is a neighborhood in Budapest, Hungary.

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-001
Hazy day, Budapest, 1920

11x14 inches. Printed later.

Box 2
Image RL.11566-P-028
Place de la Concorde fountain, Paris, 1925

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-002
Mimi Pinson's house, Montmartre, 1926

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-003
Black cat with sculpture and newspaper, Paris, 1926

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-004
Marche aux Puces, Paris, 1926

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-005
Near the Porte De Vanves, Paris (horses), 1926

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-006
On the quai near Saint Michel, Paris, 1926

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-007
Near Pont de Grenelle, Paris (boat launch), 1927

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-008
Four men gathered at wood stove in Paris bistro, 1927

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-009
Artist painting near Pont St. Denis, Paris, 1927

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-010
Canal Saint Martin, Paris (bridge over river, tugboats), 1927

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-011
Children playing, Tuileries Garden, Paris, 1928

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-012
Canal Saint Martin, Paris (opening locks), 1929

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-013
Rue du Chateau, Paris (Eiffel tower in distance), 1929

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-014
Man in window, Savoy, France, 1929

10x8 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-015
St. Jean de Luze, France (market still life with dog), 1931

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-016
Alone, Paris, 1931

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-017
Rue Bourgeois, Paris (woman and 7 cats), 1931

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-018
Distortion #156, Paris, 1933

14x11 inches. Printed later.

Box 2
Image RL.11566-P-029
Distortion #172, 1933

14x11 inches. Printed later.

Box 2
Image RL.11566-P-030
Rockefeller Center (parade of elephants and plane), 1939

11x14 inches. Printed later.

Box 2
Image RL.11566-P-031
Tudor City, New York (pigeon, 08-25-62 #32), 1962

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-019
Outdoor statuary (08-22-72, #5), 1972

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-020
Trees on hill with clouds (05-04-78, #10A), 1978

8x10 inches. Printed circa 1978.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-021
Still life (ceramic church, snail and figure on windowsill, 11-05-78, #5), 1978

8x10 inches. Printed circa 1978.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-022
Still life (winged sculpture on papers, reflection, 10-25-78, #14A), 1978

8x10 inches. Printed circa 1978.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-023
Paris (cat on car hood, near Notre Dame Hotel), circa 1970s

8x10 inches, unknown print date.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-024
Île Saint-Louis, Paris (poultry display with art poster, 12-29-82, #19), 1982

10x8 inches. Printed circa 1982.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-025
Trees and streetlamp at dusk (12-17-82, #35A), 1982

8x10 inches. Printed circa 1982.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-026
People sitting along Seine, view of Notre Dame from rear, circa 1984

8x10 inches. Printed later.

Box 1
Image RL.11566-P-027
 

Historical Note

Born in Hungary, André Kertész (1894-1985) was known for his mastery of composition with light, his experimental photography, and for his street photography and portraiture. After living in Paris for a decade and developing his style as a photographer and photojournalist, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1936, where he continued his work. After World War II, Kertész became a naturalized U.S. citizen, returning in subsequent years to France and other places around the world to take photographs.

After practicing as a photojournalist in Europe and in the United States for a good part of his career, in the early 1960s he pulled away from this type of work for good, and enjoyed a period of growing and widespread acknowledgment of the quality of his work. He died in 1985 in New York City.

Related Material

Related collection: William Gedney photographs and papers, 1887, circa 1920, 1940-1998 and undated, bulk 1955-1989, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

This related collection contains extensive street photographs taken in Paris France, as well as an interview with André Kertész speaking about photography, recorded on audiocassette from a WNET station radio program, January 9, 1979; comes with transcription.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The André Kertész photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by Sylvia Herbold, encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, December 2017-January 2018.

Accession(s) represented in this collection guide: 2017-0217