Friday, September 12, 2014

A00187 - Lida Moser, Photographer and Journalist

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Lida Moser, Photographer and Journalist, Is Dead at 93

Lida Moser, Photographer and Journalist, Is Dead at 93

CreditLida Moser, Courtesy Alida Anderson Art Projects

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Lida Moser, whose genre-spanning photographs appeared in magazines including Look, Esquire and Vogue during their heyday in the 1950s and ’60s and who went on to write about photography for The New York Times, died on Aug. 11 near her home in Rockville, Md. She was 93.
Her death was confirmed by her friend Lenny Campello, who was also her art dealer.
In the late 1940s Ms. Moser became a member of the Photo League, a loose-knit cooperative of photographers, including Berenice Abbott and Weegee (the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig), dedicated to capturing the reality of life in New York.
Ms. Moser excelled at photojournalism at a time when women were a rarity in the field. Vogue sent her to Britain to photograph artists and writers in 1949, and then to Quebec in 1950 to capture life in its rural towns.
“We went into some deep areas that had hardly been photographed,” Ms. Moser said in a 2004 profile in The Washington City Paper. “I felt like these people were laying bare their world to me.”


CreditLenny Campello

Her Quebec photos were later exhibited at the McCord Museum in Montreal and collected in a book, “Québec à l’Été 1950” (“Quebec in the Summer of 1950”).
Ms. Moser did not want to be relegated to one form of photography. “I’ve done it all in photography,” she said in 2004. “I didn’t want people describing me like: ‘There’s Lida Moser. She shoots portraits,’ or, ‘She shoots buildings.’ I didn’t want to be limited.”
Ms. Moser made portraits of musicians like Charles Mingus and Leonard Bernstein and fellow photographers like Yousuf Karsh and Aaron Siskind. She also shot surreal depictions of New York street life and architecture; one, from 1971, of a man working on a scaffold against the vertical stripes of the Exxon Building, takes on the aspect of abstraction.
Perhaps her most famous photograph, “Mimicry (Judy and the Boys)” (1961), began as a shoot for an aspiring model. Ms. Moser had posed her in front of a Greenwich Village garage when some neighborhood children demanded to be in the picture, then began mimicking the model’s poses. The model responded with a crude gesture, captured by Ms. Moser. The Library of Congress purchased the original print in 1998.
Beginning in the mid-1970s Ms. Moser was a regular contributor to the Camera View column, which appeared in the Arts & Leisure section of The Times. Topics ranged from maintenance tips (“Do not lend your camera to anyone” was rule No. 2) to how to solicit grants and win photo contests. She collected her expertise in books, including “Fun in Photography” (1971). Her last column ran in 1981.
Lida Moser was born on Aug. 17, 1920, in Manhattan and grew up there. After a year of college she found work with a clothing designer. She served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II and was a receptionist in the Museum of Modern Art’s film and photography department. She was briefly married in the 1960s. There were no immediate survivors. A retrospective of her work is set for 2015 at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec.


Lida Moser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lida Moser
BornAugust 17, 1920
New York City, New York
DiedAugust 12, 2014 (aged 93)
Washington, D.C.
ResidenceRockville, Maryland
Years active1947 — 2014
Known forfashion, photojournalism, portraiture
Notable work(s)Judy and the Boys, 1961
Lida Moser (August 17, 1920 – August 12, 2014) was an American-born photographer and author, with a career that spanned more than six decades, before retiring in her 90s. She was known for her photojournalism and street photography as a member of both the Photo League [1] and the New York School. Her portfolio includes black and white commercial, portrait and documentary photography, with her work continuing to have an impact.
The Photo League was an early center of American documentary photography in the post war years, with membership including many of the most significant photographers of the 20th century. In a retrospective at the Fraser Gallery in Washington DC, she was described as a pioneer in the field of photojournalism.[2]


"Judy and the Boys (Mimicry)" Photograph by Lida Moser, 1961.
Moser was born in 1920 in New York City.[3][4] Her career started in 1947 as an assistant in Berenice Abbott'sstudio. She then earned her first assignment from Vogue in 1949, traveling across Canada. Other magazines featuring her work include Harper's BazaarLook and Esquire. She has authored a number of books of her own work and co-authored several photographic technique books. Articles and ongoing columns appeared in the New York TimesNew York Sunday TimesAmphoto Guide to Special EffectsFun in PhotographyCareer PhotographyWomen See MenWomen of Vision, and This Was the Photo League, among others.
Moser’s series of "Camera View" articles on photography for The New York Times appeared between 1974 and 1981.[5] Her photography has fetched as much as $4,000 at Christie's and other auctions[6] and continues to be collected and displayed by more than 40 museums worldwide.[7] Moser’s relationship to French photographerEugène Atget can be seen in photos of Edinburgh, Scotland, as an early influence and that of American photographer Walker Evans.
She died on August 12, 2014 at the age of 93.[8]

Permanent collections[edit]

Her work has been exhibited in many museums worldwide and is in the permanent collection of

Significant works[edit]

  • 1949 "Queen's Parade, Edinburgh, Scotland"
  • 1950 "Farm Girls, Valley of the Matapedia, Quebec"
  • 1961 "Judy and the Boys"
  • 1965 "Office Bldg. Lobby, New York,"
  • 1968 "Cops, Times Square, New York."
  • 1971 "Construction of the Exxon Building, New York'[7][11]


In popular culture[edit]

Her 1971 book “Construction of Exxon Building, New York City features a photo of window washers that has been recreated in Lego building blocks at Legoland Floridatheme park.
Office Building Lobby, New York, in which Moser’s wild overexposure has reduced organization men to near–stick figures and the lobby to an ill-defined blob, presaging by several years the visual distortions of 2001: A Space Odyssey[13]

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