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Willy Maywald

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The Art Library of the National Museums in Berlin presents a retrospective exhibition of works by Willy Maywald. Titled "Willy Maywald. Photographer and Cosmopolitan. Portraits, Fashion, Reportages", the exhibition will be showing at the city’s Museum for Photography from 24 April to 28 August 2015.

Maywald (1907–1985) was one of the most important photographers working in Paris from the 1930s to the 1960s. His training at the Schools for Applied Art in Krefeld, Cologne and Berlin shaped his avant-garde style. In 1932 he moved to the city on the Seine, where he befriended many of the protagonists of modern art.

His broad spectrum of interests, spanning both commissioned assignments and art photography, gave rise to a spectacular collection of portrait photographs, fashion photos for all major Parisian fashion houses, dance and architectural photography, as well as travel features and photo-reportages on cities around the world.

Maywald worked for many of the fashion industry’s leading designers such as Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Jacques Fath and Jeanne Paquin. Understated elegance was the hallmark of his photography, which was often created against the backdrop of luxurious interiors or expensive cars  – though he also depicted his subjects in the streets of Paris, in cafés or, for example, against the display window of an antiquarian bookshop. 

Maywald’s artists portraits also received great acclaim, not least due to the photographer’s perfect mastery of both natural and artificial light. His book "Portrait et Atelier" (1958) features a selection of his portraits, depicting artists such as Hans Arp, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Georges Rouault and Maurice Utrillo.

For further information visit Museum for Photography

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