Nationality: American

Birth Place: Zloczew (l?dzkie voivodship, Poland)

Born Ascher Fellig, Weegee earned his pseudonym by his prescient arrivals to scenes of crimes only minutes after they were reported to the authorities. Weegee is a phonetic rendering of Ouija. It is debated whether he gave himself this nickname or whether it was bestowed on him by a reporter or police officer.

Most of Weegee's work depicted unflinchingly harsh scenes of Manhattan crime and poverty during the 1930s and 1940s in stark black and white photos. Although he first started out working as a darkroom technician, he left to become a freelance photographer, haunting the Manhattan Police Headquarters for incidents to photograph. His reasoning was that newspapers would only buy photos with an interesting story and was validated by appearing in the New York Post, the Herald Tribune and more. He operated primarily at night.

Weegee relied on basic equipment for his photography efforts. He lacked formal training and learned to develop his photographs in a darkroom he set up in the rear of his car, which imbued his photos with a "hot off the press" feeling that emphasized the tabloid nature of his work. In 1945, he published a photography book that became the movie The Naked City. During the 1950s, he experimented with film and worked with Stanley Kubrick on Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. His accent inspired Dr. Strangelove's accent.


Weegee Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
WEEGEE (American, 1899-1968) Group of Thirteen Photographs, circa 1940-56 Untitled (Weegee Giving Presentation at Ph...
WEEGEE (American, 1899-1968)Group of Thirteen Photographs, circa 1940-56Untitled (Weegee Giving Presentation at Ph... (Total: 13 Items)
Lot 74037
Auction 5119
Saturday, November 17, 2012
WEEGEE (American, 1899-1968) The Critic, 1943 Gelatin silver 13-1/2 x 10-3/4 inches (34.3 x 27.3 cm) Signed, dated
WEEGEE (American, 1899-1968)The Critic, 1943Gelatin silver13-1/2 x 10-3/4 inches (34.3 x 27.3 cm)Signed, dated, ...
Lot 74030
Auction 5119
Saturday, November 17, 2012
WEEGEE (American, 1899-1968) Group of Eight Firefighter Photographs, circa 1940-45 Gelatin silver ... (Total: 7 Items)
WEEGEE (American, 1899-1968)Group of Eight Firefighter Photographs, circa 1940-45Gelatin silver... (Total: 7 Items)
Lot 74033
Auction 5119
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Weegee (American, 1899-1968) At a Jazz Club, 1948 Gelatin silver 13-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches (34.3 x 26.7 cm) The photogr
Weegee (American, 1899-1968)At a Jazz Club, 1948Gelatin silver13-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches (34.3 x 26.7 cm)The photogr...
Lot 73087
Auction 5328
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Weegee (American, 1899-1968) Taxi Dancing at $0.50 at the Stately Waldorf, 1940s Gelatin sillver 12-3/4 x 10-5/8 inch
Weegee (American, 1899-1968)Taxi Dancing at $0.50 at the Stately Waldorf, 1940sGelatin sillver12-3/4 x 10-5/8 inch...
Lot 73201
Auction 5298
Friday, May 19, 2017

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PLEASE NOTE: All prices realized reflect the final hammer price PLUS the buyer's premium in auctions that charge a buyer's premium. Each item has a notation at the top of the listing indicating whether that lot included a buyer's premium. All information listed is intended to be as accurate as possible, but errors are possible. Please use this guide carefully and inform us of any inaccuracies.

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