Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt


Nationality: American

Birth Place: Germany (Europe)

Born in 1898, Eisenstaedt and his family moved to Berlin when he was just a little boy. He began taking photographs as a young teenager. After serving with the German army during World War I, he returned to freelance photography, eventually working for the Associated Press in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Eisenstaedt’s work for the AP allowed him to interact with many important political people of the day. In fact, he took pictures of both Hitler and Mussolini in the years prior to World War II. But the rise of the Nazi party in his home country bode ill for Eisenstaedt and his family since they were Jewish. Sensing the danger, they immigrated to New York in 1935, and Eisenstaedt became a U.S. citizen the very next year.

His photographic work from Germany was respected enough to help him land a position as one of the first staff photographers for the then new Life magazine. He would remain with Life for over 35 years, becoming a famous photo-journalist and contributing over 90 cover pictures for the well-loved journal, as well as countless other photos on the inside pages. One of his best known pictures, often called "V-J Day in Times Square" shows a jubilant sailor kissing a nurse with great abandon. The photo was taken during the New York celebration of the Allied victory over Japan, a victory which brought an end to WWII. It became an iconic photograph for the era.

Eisenstaedt was known for his brilliant use of natural lighting, his ability to capture candid action shots, and his work with smaller cameras than cameras that many other photographers of his day used. He often took photos with a 35 mm Leica camera. His focus and speed enabled him to take some truly memorable pictures.

Besides the V-J photograph, other well-known photographs taken by Eisenstaedt include portraits of actresses Sophia Loren, Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe, pictures of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American author Ernest Hemingway, and a photo of an ice-skating waiter taken at the Grand Hotel in St. Moritz in 1932. The ground-breaking work he did with Life magazine has earned him the name "father of photojournalism."


Alfred Eisenstaedt Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995) Children at a Puppet Theatre, Paris, 1963 Gelatin silver, 1990 13-7/8 x 20-7
Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995)Children at a Puppet Theatre, Paris, 1963Gelatin silver, 199013-7/8 x 20-7...
Lot 73296
Auction 5253
Sunday, April 17, 2016
ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (American, 1898-1995) Children at a Puppet Theater, Paris, 1963 Gelatin silver, 1989 13-3/4 x 20-3
ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (American, 1898-1995)Children at a Puppet Theater, Paris, 1963Gelatin silver, 198913-3/4 x 20-3...
Lot 74074
Auction 5119
Saturday, November 17, 2012
ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (American, 1898-1995) V.J. Day, Times Square, New York City, 1945 Gelatin silver, 1991 17-1/2 x 11
ALFRED EISENSTAEDT (American, 1898-1995)V.J. Day, Times Square, New York City, 1945Gelatin silver, 199117-1/2 x 11...
Lot 74040
Auction 5037
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995) Hurricane in the Atlantic, S.S. Queen Elizabeth starboard, 1948 Gelatin silve...
Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995)Hurricane in the Atlantic, S.S. Queen Elizabeth starboard, 1948Gelatin silve...
Lot 13060
Auction 191750
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995) Repairing the hull of the Graf Zeppelin during the flight over the Atlantic, 1...
Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995)Repairing the hull of the Graf Zeppelin during the flight over the Atlantic, 1...
Lot 73130
Auction 5328
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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