Fred Stein

Germany / 1909 - 1967 / / wikipedia
Fred Stein was a master of the art of street photography. His pioneering work with the hand-held camera captured some of the earliest images of people in the midst of everyday life, revealing striking psychological and cultural insights. This same immediacy infuses his penetrating portraits of the great personalities of the era. h

Early pioneer of the hand-held camera; became a gifted street photographer in Paris and NY after forced to flee his native Germany by Nazi threat in early 1930s. Explored the new creative possibilities of photography, capturing spontaneous scenes from life on the street. Also a master portraitist, creating intimate images of many of the great personalities of the 20th century.

Born July 3, 1909, Dresden, Germany. As a teenager, deeply interested in politics and an early anti-Nazi activist. A brilliant student; obtained a law degree in an impressively short time, but denied admission to German bar by Nazi government for “racial and political reasons.” The threat of Fascism grew increasingly dangerous; after SS made inquiries about him, Stein fled to Paris in 1933 with new wife, Liselotte Salzburg, under pretext of taking a honeymoon.

In Paris at center of circle of expatriates, intellectuals and artists. In the midst of upheaval, gathering war, and personal penury, Stein began taking photographs. A pioneer of the small, hand-held camera; with the Leica he and his wife purchased as a wedding present, he went into the streets to photograph life in Paris. He saw hope and beauty where most people would only see despair. He also became acquainted with and photographed some of the leading personalities of Europe.

...Stein died Sept. 27, 1967 at age 58. His portraits and reportage had appeared in newspapers, magazines, and books throughout the world. He had numerous one-man exhibitions, gave frequent lectures, and had several books published. " Complete bio at
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First Collected by

Daniel Romero


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