Author(s): Jacob Loewentheil
Photographer Marcel Sternberger pioneered the technique of the psychological portrait, and redefined the boundaries of portrait iconography in the twentieth century. Combining an interest in contemporary art and science with the desire to break free from the constraints of conventional portraiture, Sternberger's pictures reveal as much about their author and their time as they do about their subjects. He photographed many of the most influential figures in art, science, and politics, ranging from Franklin Roosevelt and Albert Einstein to Frida Kahlo and George Bernard Shaw. Engaging his subjects-encouraging conversation, play, and gesture during photography-he elicited expressions of their characters that transformed his portraits into living works of art, and defined the public perception of his subjects' personas. With an introduction describing Sternberger's remarkable career and hundreds of unseen photographs, sketches, notes, and contact sheets, this is the first book to celebrate the work of one of the twentieth century's most important image-makers.
Jacob Loewentheil is a photography historian and an expert on the portraiture of Marcel Sternberger. Phillip Prodger is head of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery in London.