Ernst Haas

(1921 - 1986)

View Catalogue>>

Positano Priest, 1953

Gelatin silver print, printed later

Signed and numbered 21 / 99 in ink on the recto

33 cm x 49 cm


Haas was born in Vienna. He study Medecine and then painting. He finally took up photography in 1940 after the war with an early work on Austrian returning prisoners of war  that brought him the attention of LIFE magazine. In order to preserve his independqnce, the artist declined a job offer as staff photographer for this same magazine and joined Magnum in 1949 with the invitation of Robert Capa. An opportunity for him to develop close associations with Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Werner Bishof.

Ernst Haas moved to the United States in 1951 and soon after, began experimenting with Kodachrome color film. He became the premier color photographer of the 1950s.In 1953 LIFE magazine published his groundbreaking 24-page color photo essay on New York City. This was the first time such a large color photo feature was published by the magazine. In 1962, a retrospective of his work was the first color photography exhibition held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Throughout his career, Haas traveled extensively, photographing for LIFE, Vogue, and Look, to name a few of many influential publications. He authored four books during his lifetime: The Creation (1971), In America (1975), In Germany (1976), and Himalayan Pilgrimage (1978).

Ernst Haas received Cultural award of the german society of photography in 1972 and the Hasselblad award in 1986. Haas has continued to be the subject of museum exhibitions and publications such as Ernst Haas, Color Photography (1989), Ernst Haas in Black and White (1992), and Color Correction (2011).