(DailyDig.com) – On September 13, Henri Dauman, a French émigré and Holocaust survivor who depicted the rise of celebrity and political culture postwar with his photography, died at home in Hampton Bays, New York.
His photographs included President JFK’s funeral, Elvis Presley’s enlistment in and discharge from the US Army, and Elizabeth Taylor’s reaction to a heavyweight title match. He was 90.
Dauman entered the realm of photography at an early age. He was born in Montmartre, France, in 1933. Because of his unique aesthetic sensibility, he was able to elevate seemingly routine situations into moving stories via photography. His black-and-white portraits of historical figures and famous people were particularly striking.
From the violent social movements of women’s liberation and black power to the beautiful personalities of the day like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, Dauman caught the spirit of American society throughout four decades. He captured everything from Jacqueline Kennedy’s solemn walk behind the coffin of her husband to the Marx Brothers’ goofy antics on camera.
His images often conveyed a sense of drama or passion, demonstrating a special ability of his. Each star he photographed came across as real, strong, and vulnerable in his photographs. Dauman’s images took us back to a period when celebrities weren’t that different from the rest of us.
The importance of Dauman to the field of visual narratives is immense. His extraordinary ability to capture still images gave us fresh insights into our most beloved cultural icons.
In addition to photographing famous people, Dauman also covered other pivotal periods in the history of our postwar era. Along with celebrities, politicians, and the Civil Rights Movement, he photographed regular New Yorkers. Each image conveyed a compelling narrative, allowing viewers to feel a personal connection to the events and locations that have defined our shared past.
Dauman’s legacy will remind future generations of the everlasting impact of a single shot, and it will serve as an inspiration to generations of art lovers and photographers.
His granddaughter, Nicole Jones, has verified his death.
Copyright 2023, DailyDig.com