PhotoLexicon, Volume 25, nr. 39 (March 2008) (en)

Erwin Blumenfeld

Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho


Erwin Blumenfeld has achieved worldwide notoriety as a photographer. This did not occur, however, until after his seventeen years spent in the Netherlands during the period between the two world wars (1918–1936). This monograph concerns only his time in the Netherlands. In his autobiography of 1975, Blumenfeld cynically dismissed his stay in the ‘Dutch quagmire’ as a depressing and fruitless period. His most favourable remarks were made in regard to the delicious herring and the delightful children’s songs. Notwithstanding, Blumenfeld experienced fruitful years—certainly from 1932 on. Slow business in his leather goods shop allowed him to spend his days experimenting with taking portrait photos of his family members, artist friends, and customers. It was in Amsterdam that Blumenfeld established a solid foundation for the later artistic, and above all, successful commercial work he did as a photographer. Blumenfeld’s desire to experiment and the results he achieved with it may be considered exceptionally modern within the context of the Dutch photography scene at that time.




Erwin Blumenfeld is born on 26 January as the second child in a Jewish family belonging to the affluent middle class of Berlin.


At the Ashkenazic Gymnasium (a German Jewish prep or grammar school) in Berlin, Blumenfeld becomes friends with Paul Citroen, a future artist and photographer.


Blumenfeld receives a 9×12 camera with tripod as a gift from his uncle Carl, as a diversion following an operation. Made-up and dressed like a clown, he takes his first self-portrait, posing in front of the mirror in his parents’ bedroom.


Blumenfeld and Citroen frequent the ‘Café des Westens’, where they come into contact with avant-garde artists such as George Grosz, and the poet Else Lasker-Schüler.


After having worked as an ambulance driver during World War I, Blumenfeld flees to the Netherlands in December, where a long-awaited reunion takes place with Lena Citroen, a Dutch girlfriend from his youth and a cousin of Paul Citroen.


On 16 January, Erwin marries Lena, thus reigniting his friendship with Paul Citroen, who had previously returned to the Netherlands in 1917. Citroen introduces his German childhood friend to the Amsterdam art scene. The two friends continue with the avant-garde activities they had initiated in Berlin by setting up a Dutch branch of Dada together. Blumenfeld had already started making collages back in Berlin, combining political and fanciful notions, along with narrative and autobiographical fragments.

After a failed attempt to establish an art dealership together with Citroen, financial necessity forces Blumenfeld to resume working in the field of women’s clothing manufacturing, an industry in which he had previously worked in Berlin.


The Blumenfeld family moves to a house in Zandvoort at Dr. Joh. G. Metzgerstraat 107, following the birth of their first child on 12 May, Lisette.


With financial help from the Schmidt brothers, owners of a leather wholesale company in Berlin, and capital provided by the Citroen family, Blumenfeld opens his own leather goods business in Amsterdam, the ‘Fox Leather Company’, at Kalverstraat 126. Both in his private time and during working hours, he devotes most of his energy to a wide range of artistic activity, e.g. writing farcical poems and stories, painting, photographing, and making Dada collages.


The Blumenfelds’ second child is born on 31 May, Heinz Alexander.


In a newspaper photo from this year, Blumenfeld is seen being escorted off by two policemen, with the top half of his full-length swimming trunk rolled down to the navel. He is arrested for indecent behaviour. In the same year, he insults the writer of a graphological article on the French writer Charles Baudelaire. The author turns out to be the chief commissioner of the Amsterdam police, who promptly files a libel suit. These two memorable encounters with the police preclude the approval of Blumenfeld’s application for Dutch citizenship.


In the spring, Blumenfeld moves to store premises at Kalverstraat 151, renovated based on a design by Margaret Kropholler. Blumenfield contributes extensively to the design of the ‘new objectivist’ storefront window and the interior. During his business trips to Germany, he selects the materials himself and writes Kropholler letters filled with detailed instructions. Blumenfeld furnishes his office on the first floor as a photography studio. He also creates space for a darkroom, thus enabling himself to photograph, develop, and make prints in his own store. This gives his photography an enormous impulse. He quits all of his other artistic activities and concentrates solely on his photography. The economic crisis and his lack of business acumen result in a dearth of clients, which gives him time to experiment with photography according to the latest ideas and techniques. Blumenfeld photographs his entire circle of friends. The few customers who enter the store are also lured into his office to have their portraits taken.


One year later, Blumenfeld is apparently comfortable enough with the quality of his photographic experiments that he shows his work to the renowned German photographic society ‘Ulstein’, the publisher of a magazine he greatly admires, Querschnitt. The magazine’s editors, however, completely denounce Blumenfeld’s work. In the same year, however, he gains a small success at the national level, when being allowed to exhibit his work, as an amateur photographer, at a modern art gallery: Blumenfeld’s friend Carel van Lier has decided to include his work in his gallery’s exhibition programme. Professional photographers interpret the exhibition as scandalous insolence: in various reviews, written by Adriaan Boer, Alphons Muns, and others, Blumenfeld’s photos are sharply criticised.

Blumenfeld’s third child, Frank Yorick, is born on 11 April. On 28 September, he moves with his family to a detached house, called ‘Gimley’, on the Schulpweg in Aerdenhout.


Blumenfeld exhibits his work again at Kunstzaal Van Lier in Amsterdam. As before, professional photographers disparage the results. The art critics, on the other hand, voice enthusiasm in the newspapers with respect to the modern appearance of the women’s portraits and the conceptual approach.

On occasion, Bloemenfeld photographs ethnographic objects from the collection of Kunstzaal Van Lier.


In a desire for recognition and the means to make a living, Blumenfeld focuses his efforts abroad. In 1934, the film studio UFA (‘Universum Film AG’) invites Blumenfeld to briefly come to Germany to photograph the studio’s star actresses. Due to the presence of the Nazi regime, however, Blumenfeld feels the need to cut off his visit prematurely.


Blumenfeld works for a brief period as a set photographer for the film Pension Mimomas by the French director Jacques Feyder. At the end of the year, three of his photos are accepted for publication in Photographie, a special publication of the international art magazine Arts et métiers graphiques, which appears in 1936.

After years of financial adversity, the Fox Leather Company goes bankrupt. Blumenfeld decides to try and earn a living as an independent photographer. In October, he opens his own portrait studio at Keizersgracht 495a. He furnishes the space with great care: he paints the floor silver and covers one of the walls with the best of his women’s portraits. Within two months, however, he is forced to shut the studio down due to a lack of clientele.


In February, Blumenfeld moves to a room in Paris, at the heart of the avant-garde, in the hope of finding a more sustainable existence. His wife and children follow on 27 June. Prior to his arrival, he had already established a single contact in Amsterdam in 1935: ‘Geneviève’, a woman living in Paris who was the daughter of the painter Georges Rouault. Geneviève introduces Blumenfeld to her well-to-do contacts as a portrait photographer and displays his work in her own dentist’s practice. Blumenfeld hangs out in the artists café Le Dôme all afternoon and evening and manages to persuade people to have their portraits taken at his studio. In those first months, he displays his work at the Billiet Gallery, primarily photos taken in the Netherlands. Blumenfeld’s autonomous photography is soon published in avant-garde magazines such as Verve and Minotaure.


Blumenfeld relinquishes his ambitions of making a living as an autonomous photographer and decides to start working as a commercial fashion photographer. After years of financial hardship, success quickly follows. Blumenfeld works in Paris and New York for major international fashion magazines, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.


Fleeing from the war, Blumenfeld and his family travel across the Atlantic to New York. Within a couple of years, Blumenfeld emerges as the world’s highest paid fashion photographer.


Blumenfeld completes his written autobiography as well as a comprehensive survey of his work, entitled Meine 100 besten Fotos (‘My 100 Best Photos’).

On 4 July, Erwin Blumenfeld dies in Rome following a second heart attack. He is subsequently buried there.


In 1954 and 1960, the Leiden University Print Room receives two donations, respectively, fifteen and fourteen of Bloemenfeld’s photos previously held in Paul Citroen’s possession. In 1969, Citroen sells twenty-four of Blumenfeld’s photos to the Leiden Print Room.


A portion of the travelling exhibition Erwin Blumenfeld. A Fetish for Beauty is shown at the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam. The museum places added emphasis on Erwin Blumenfeld’s time spent in the Netherlands, presenting an extensive overview of his early work.


The Fotomuseum Den Haag (‘The Hague Museum of Photography’) organises the exhibition and catalogue Erwin Blumenfeld. His Dutch Years 1918–1936. This is the first serious attempt to present a complete picture of Blumenfeld’s life and work in the Netherlands.


Erwin Blumenfeld was already experimenting with photography in his youth in Germany and he continued to photograph after arriving in the Netherlands. On his free days he portrayed the people around him in a light-hearted manner, initially without any professional motivation. In the sphere of his private life—where people dear to him appear to have unhesitatingly gone along with his unconventional style of photographing—Blumenfeld found the freedom to establish a basis for a personal style. He portrayed his wife and children inside the home, always varying the lighting and the camera angles. He would also produce portraits of them at his studios.

In the 1920s and ’30s, Blumenfeld often served as his own model in his photos. The self-portrait was a means for him to master this new form of portraiture in total freedom. He used lighting on himself in unorthodox ways and documented his own face in close-ups with rigorous cropping. Later on, he would include these portraits of his family and himself in exhibitions and installations.

Blumenfeld’s earliest model was Paul Citroen, who already played an important part in his playful photographic experiments as a child. Starting in the second half of the 1920s, a number of joint photo sessions were organised in and around Blumenfeld’s house in Zandvoort. On summer days, Citroen posed for the camera in various informal positions. These sessions—and later those with Blumenfeld’s friend, Carel van Lier—were much like farcical theatrical pieces, complete with unconventional props and theatrical poses. It should be observed that the experimental nature of these photos lay exclusively in the representation, not in the technique.

By presenting fifty photos of women’s heads at his exhibition Cinquante têtes de femmes (‘Fifty Heads of Women’), Blumenfeld show how women were his favourite subjects to photograph. It was in the Netherlands that he gradually developed a clear vision for his portraits of women—a vision just as recognisable in the remainder of his photographic oeuvre and a topic he would later regularly address. By comparing the contact sheets that have survived with the final enlargements, one can gain clear insight into Blumenfeld’s working method. He showed little interest in the personal traits of the people he portrayed. It was not an individual characterisation he was striving for in his portraits: an area where the documentary properties of photography can be of great help. Instead, it was his own personal vision that Blumenfeld projected on his models. On working days, he took portraits of women—acquaintances and clients—in unorthodox poses, as well relying on strong and unnatural lighting effects. With his great sense of humour, charm, and his remarkable power of persuasion, Blumenfeld was able to convince female visitors to his store to pose for him, sometimes even nude. But rarely, if ever, did this result in a paid commission. At the end of the workday, Blumenfeld went to his darkroom and manipulated his shots according to his own fantasies. With the help of enlargements, unconventional crops, and darkroom techniques used to create special effects, e.g. solarisation, brûlage, and combination print, he lifted his everyday models out of reality and transformed them into suggestive and erotic fantasy images. Blumenfeld’s portrait wall, on which he created a larger unity by combining dozens of women’s portraits on the wall of his portrait studio on the Keizersgracht, provides a good picture of what he was trying to accomplish. By representing women artists, actresses, paying clients and those close to him all in a similar way, and as well by combining their portraits in his installation, Blumenfeld appears to draw the observer’s attention to the levelling power of photography. With the discrete addition of several mannequins portrayed exactly in the same manner, he betrays his surrealist-inspired refusal to distinguish between object and subject, dream and reality. It seems as if he wishes to demonstrate that it is the eroticising eye of the artist that predominates here.

Blumenfeld’s contacts with artists representing the Modern movement in the Netherlands were closer than his connections with those in the photography world. In the period between the two world wars, he portrayed many key figures in the world of Dutch culture: dozens of artists, actresses, dancers, critics, and architects. Blumenfeld’s reputation as a photographer was not the reason why they allowed him to take their portraits, but because he moved in the same avant-garde circles. The artists formed their own social stratum as a cultural vanguard—of which Blumenfeld was a part—in the religious-based society of the Netherlands.

In the studio, the model was expected to behave passively: it was Blumenfeld who determined what the ultimate image would look like. With artists, he seemed to pay no attention to their individuality, nor was he overly impressed by their artistic persona. Just as with his models of lesser renown, they appear to have served chiefly as a physical starting point, void of any personality. It was if he used them to try out his graphic effects, achieved through light and shadow, as well as his newly acquired darkroom techniques. Blumenfeld’s portrayal of Charley Toorop, for instance, has been done in an extremely cheerful and feminine manner, as opposed to the masculine, serious image that she herself often conveyed to the outside world. John Radecker, a sculptor and friend, also willingly went along with Blumenfeld’s photographic experimentation. Radecker’s head was photographed so big that it took up the entire image. Blumenfeld also asked him to close his eyes, making him look more like a big sleeping baby than an established artist with a reputation to uphold.

In 1932, Blumenfeld became the first photographer to exhibit his work at a modern Amsterdam art gallery. It was a breakthrough that apparently sparked envy among members of the established photography world, which viewed this move as scandalous: what was an amateur doing—someone seeking a modern style through experimentation—in a temple of the visual arts that was virtually unattainable for them? The opinions voiced by professional portrait photographers in response to Blumenfeld’s two exhibitions at the art dealer Carel van Lier’s gallery, as published in the trade magazines, were uncommonly harsh. Blumenfeld’s work was criticised on every level. When perusing issues of the three Dutch magazines produced by and for anyone taking photographs in the Netherlands during the 1930s—Bedrijfsfotografie (‘Corporate Photography’) for the professional photographer; Lux/De Camera and Focus for the amateur photographer—one encounters a conservative perspective on photography. According to the critics, a good portrait was not derived from a desire for innovation, but was instead based on sound craftsmanship and a modest degree of painterly artisticity. Professional photographers viewed themselves as being responsible for the quality of craftsmanship in Dutch portrait production and saw the need to defend their reputations in this respect. In their view, Blumenfeld’s experimental portraits were a blemish on the profession. As result, Blumenfeld received not the slightest recognition with regards to his bold and daring portraits from any of his professional colleagues during his days in Amsterdam. The milieu of conservative professional photographers was no place for free spirits like Erwin Blumenfeld and his friend Paul Citroen to further develop or manifest themselves. Among circles of the Dutch avant-garde art movement, however, there was most definitely an appreciation for the two men’s photographic portraits. Art galleries therefore offered prospects for the new experimental movement in photography.

For his radical innovations? within the medium of photography, Blumenfeld was obliged to seek inspiration chiefly abroad. The relatively conservative notions of other Dutch photographers failed to provide new insights. It was thanks to artists such as Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray that an entirely new photography had arisen in Europe, which was already widely accepted even by this time. Piet Zwart and Paul Schuitema were two Dutchman who had previously taken advantage of existing international platforms such as exhibitions and magazines. For these pioneers of modern photography in the Netherlands, however, the medium was never entirely independent, but instead used by them primarily for photomontages and advertising designs.

In his autobiography, Blumenfeld wrote about his time spent in Amsterdam: ‘Three multi-faceted art magazines (Variétés, Brussels; Querschnitt, Berlin; Minotaure, Paris) kept my contact with the creative world intact.’ It is also known that he had frequent access to modern magazines such as VU and Das Deutsche Lichtbild (‘The German Photograph’). What is interesting about Blumenfeld’s remark is that he positioned the creative world so clearly outside the Netherlands. In Amsterdam, Blumenfeld was apparently isolated: the pioneers with whom he felt an affinity lived in other countries. There he was faced with making a choice between Constructivism and Surrealism. Paging through the international publications of his day, Blumenfeld was directly inspired by the surrealist photographer Man Ray. Lisette Blumenfeld recalls that Man Ray’s famous photobook Photographies 1920–1934 lay permanently on her father’s nightstand and that he was always referring to it. Blumenfeld admired the photos and the design in Man Ray’s book. It gave him the faith that one could indeed actually devote his entire life to artistic photography. Blumenfeld’s fascination with Man Ray is clearly identifiable in his portraits of women. In every issue of Variétés and Minotaure from the 1930s, one finds women’s portraits made by this American pioneer, which clearly served as a stimulus for Blumenfeld’s experimentation with poses, compositions, and darkroom techniques that were similar.

In academic literature on photography in the Netherlands in the period bridging the two world wars, the names Paul Citroen and Erwin Blumenfeld are often mentioned in the same breath. The two men’s photographic work and lives are therefore very closely related. After both having grown up in Germany, they together formed the Dutch branch of the Dada movement. It was likewise in the early 1930s that they investigated the new photographic capabilities of the modern portrait in the Netherlands. Despite their close collaboration and the many similarities to be found in the two men’s work, both ultimately chose their own path in the further development of their photography. In the early 1920s, Citroen became captivated by the Bauhaus, sharing the ideas about art and life predominating there. In his later portrait photography, Citroen worked in the spirit of the Bauhaus photographer Otto Umbehr (Umbo). By contrast, Blumenfeld loathed the Bauhaus and the constructivist philosophy promoted there. He was completely averse to dogma, no matter what the form.

Besides the fact that Citroen and Blumenfeld chose to continue in two different directions in photography, the former appears never to have gone so far in his experimentation as the latter. Citroen preferred to stick with the middle ground when it came to portrait photography, never completely forsaking the traditional approach to the portrait, in spite of his use of modern head sizes and graphic contrasts. Many of Citroen’s portraits are pictorial in character, achieved through blur and the use of soft film paper. His crops were less radical, his camera angles not as extreme, and he rarely or never worked independently in the darkroom. With Citroen, the creative process of photography seems to have been concluded at the moment he clicked the shutter. For this reason, he never saw his photos as full-fledged art, like he did his paintings and drawings. In 1933, Citroen wrote that ‘sliding a machine (camera) in between the first internal emotion (motive) and the completed artwork (…) does not allow the organic growth on which the life of an artwork depends.’ Blumenfeld’s experiments, by contrast, knew no limits. No single device was rejected in his desire to create a modern portrait that reflected his artistic vision in a clear and graphic manner.

The Portret van Tara Twain (‘Portrait of Tara Twain’), taken in Amsterdam, would clear the way for Blumenfeld’s move to Paris. In 1936, two portraits of this American woman and a surrealistic nude from the Netherlands were published in Photographie, a special edition of Arts et métiers graphiques. Some time later, photos by Blumenfeld were also published in the international avant-garde magazines Verve and Minotaure. Blumenfeld’s photos—which by this point had only been seen hanging between the handbags in the display window of his leather goods shop, on the wall of his portrait studio, or at exhibitions in the Netherlands—were now definitively considered to be works of international modern photography. In his autobiography, Blumenfeld described his ambitions at the time: ‘What I really wanted: just to be a photographer, l’art pour l’art, a new world, which the American Jew, Man Ray, had discovered with success. Whether I could support my family with this was another question.’ After all the financial hardship he suffered in the Netherlands, in the end Blumenfeld chose in favour of his family’s interest, i.e. the more commercial path of fashion photography. At the time, the profession of fashion photography was relatively new, providing ample opportunity for experimentation. Through important contacts such as Cecil Beaton and André Theriade, Blumenfeld managed to gain access to the major international fashion magazines, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He was able to make his mark on this profession in a way that few have ever accomplished. In addition, he has always maintained—first in Paris and later in the United States—his desire for innovation and personal style. With these qualities and his consistent vision of women, Blumenfeld has emerged as the world’s highest paid fashion photographer.

Despite Blumenfeld’s overtly negative view of his stay and photographic practice in the Netherlands, the time he spent there was most definitely significant for the further course of his career. His failure to find paying clientele and the willing support of his generally open-minded friends ensured that Blumenfeld had the freedom and space to arrive at a coherent style and vision. Had he actually been obliged to deal with ‘middle-class scum’ as his clientele, his modernist aesthetic would perhaps have never developed as freely. Over the years, Blumenfeld managed to gradually expand his initially unfettered experiments in the Netherlands into a full-fledged artistic oeuvre in Paris, and subsequently, into a commercially successful practice as a fashion photographer in New York. Ingredients encountered in his later photography—e.g. the clear compositional schemes, graphic contrasts, his persistent hunger for the latest techniques, and his vision of women as sought-after objects—can all be traced back to Blumenfeld’s early amateurish years in the Netherlands.

Despite the initial lack of interest that Blumenfeld has received in Dutch academic literature, Blumenfeld undeniably deserves a special place in the history of Dutch photography. Together with Paul Citroen, and to a lesser degree Eva Besnyö, he was one of the first photographers in the Netherlands to experiment with modern portrait photography. Furthermore, Blumenfeld can be described as one of the very few photographers in the Netherlands—together with Emiel van Moerkerken—who looked to Surrealism in France versus the Constructivism of the Bauhaus. In the first half of the 1930s, the Dutch photography world was not yet ready for Blumenfeld’s radical vision with respect to the most traditional genre in photography: the portrait. It was precisely this sector of the profession that was staunchly guarded by photographers, who, because of their highly threatened market position stemming from the economic crisis and technical innovation, were greatly reluctant to try out experiments of this kind for fear of losing their already diminishing clientele. This attitude of disapproval was probably also sparked by the professional—and therefore competitive—ambitions of this young and inexperienced portraitist. When viewed from the Dutch context, Blumenfeld is to be seen as a pioneer who focused on new possibilities for portrait photography.


(selection Dutch oeuvre)

Primary bibliography

Erwin Blumenfeld, John Rädecker 50 jaar, in Kroniek van kunst en kultuur (1935-1936), p. 75-76 (met foto).

Erwin Blumenfeld, Erwin Blumenfeld, in Alexander Liberman (ed.), The Art and Technique of Color Photography, New York (Simon & Schuster) 1951, p. 170-194, 219-221 (met foto’s).

Erwin Blumenfeld, Jadis et Daguerre, Parijs (Robert Laffont) 1975.

Erwin Blumenfeld, Durch tausendjahrige Zeit, Frauenfeld (Huber) 1976 (idem Ungekürzte ausgabe München (Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag) 1980, Berlijn (Argon) 1988); Nederlandse ed. Spiegelbeeld, Amsterdam (De Harmonie) 1980).

Erwin Blumenfeld, Meine 100 besten Fotos, Bern (Benteli) 1979.

Erwin Blumenfeld, Eye to I: The Autobiography of a Photographer, Londen (Thames and Hudson) 1999 (met foto’s).


(foto’s in boeken, tijdschriften en ander drukwerk)

Paul Citroen, Palet. Een boek gewijd aan de hedendaagsche Nederlandsche schilderkunst, Amsterdam (De Spieghel) 1931, p. 25.

City-Magazine (3 juni 1932) 22.

Prisma der Kunsten 1 (februari 1936), p. 31.

Photo[graphie] 1936 [jaarlijkse editie van Arts et Métiers Graphiques], afb. 55, 94, 117.

Catalogus tent. Wim Schuhmacher. De meester van het grijs, Arnhem (Gemeentemuseum) 1991, p. 8 (afb. 2).

Frido Troost, The Print Cabinet Leiden, in Free Eye Magazine 2 (2003), p. 22-23.

Secondary bibliography

Richard Huelsenbeck (red.), Dada Almanach, Berlijn 1920, p. 103-104.

G.d., Erwin Blumenfeld. Tentoonstelling van fotografieën in de Kunstzaal Van Lier, in Algemeen Handelsblad 24 mei 1932.

Anoniem, Kunstfoto’s Erwin Blumenfeld, Bedrijfsfotografie 12 ( 3 juni 1932) 11, p. 194-195.

A.E. van den Tol, Moderne fotografie. De kunsthandel en de foto, in De Groene Amsterdammer 4 juni 1932 (met foto’s).

Adriaan Boer, Het vraagstuk der kunstfotografie, in Focus 19 (11 juni 1932) 12, p. 848-849.

Alphons Muns, Een meneer exposeert, in Bedrijfsfotografie 14 (17 juni 1932) 12, p. 229-230.

Adriaan Boer, Foto’s Paul Citroen in de Kunstkelder, in Focus 19 (12 november 1932) 23, p. 676-677.

A.E. van den Tol, Foto’s van Erwin Blumenfeld bij Van Lier Amsterdam, in De Groene Amsterdammer 21 oktober 1933.

Anoniem, Erwin Blumenfeld. Fototentoonstelling bij Van Lier, in De Nieuwe Courant/Het Vaderland 1 oktober 1933, p. 3.

W. Jos de Gruyter, Foto’s door Erwin Blumenfeld. Bij Esher Surrey, in Het Vaderland 1 mei 1934, p. 1.

Anoniem, Erwin Blumenfeld, in Het Vaderland 24 juli 1934, p. 3.

Frans Stoppelman, Ook Blumenfeld zegt onverbloemd zijn mening, in Foto 5 (oktober 1950) 10, p. 350-351.

Willemijn Brattinga-Kooy, Regie: Paul Huf. Het suksesverhaal van een serieuze fotograaf, Amsterdam (De Bezige Bij) 1966, p. 25-26.

K. Schippers, Holland Dada, Amsterdam (Querido) 1974, p. 22-27 (met foto’s) (idem, 2000, geheel herz.dr., p. 24-29).

Alfred Andersch, Mr. Blumenfelds Inferno, in Frankfurter Rundschau 13 december 1976.

Alfred Andersch, Refreshment through Hate, in Times Literary Supplement 11 maart 1977.

R. Fricke (red.), Paul Citroen, Düsseldorf/Bielefeld (Edition Marzona) 1978, p. 4, 6-7, 10 (serie: Retrospektive Fotografie 1).

Flip Bool en Kees Broos (red.), Fotografie in Nederland 1920-1940, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1979, p. 76, 79-80, 89, 100, 146.

Ron Kaal, Fotografie: Erwin Blumenfeld. Beelden van gene zijde, in Haagse Post 66 (13 oktober 1979) 41, p. 109.

Hans Mulder, Een produktieve, reinigende haat. De meeslepende autobiografie van Erwin Blumenfeld, Vrij Nederland-Bijvoegsel (12 juli 1980) 28, p. 8-9, 17.

C. G. van Zweden, Prachtige autobiografie van Erwin Blumenfeld, in Trouw 12 juli 1980.

Aad Flapper, Blumenfelds fotografische erfenis, in Het Parool 18 juli 1980, p. 10.

J. Huisman, Blumenfelds literaire goudmijn, Algemeen Dagblad 15 augustus 1980.

K Schippers, De clown met het scheermes, in NRC Handelsblad 22 augustus 1980.

Catalagus tent. Erwin Blumenfeld. Collages Dada, 1916-1931, Genève (Galerie Sonia Zannettacci) 1981.

Anoniem, Blumenfeld’s Vision, in Holland Herald 17 (1982) 4, p. 6-7.

F. Bool en I. Leijerzapf, Fotografie, in Kathinka Dittrich, Paul Blom en Flip Bool (red.), Berlijn-Amsterdam 1920-1940. Wisselwerkingen, Amsterdam (Querido) 1982, p. 237-245.

Catalogus tent. Erwin Blumenfeld. Fotograaf 1897-1969, Breda (De Beyerd) 1982.

Yorick Blumenfeld, Reflections in an Insatiable Eye, in American Photographer 8 (februari 1982) 2, p. 68-78.

Hans Rooseboom, Als vanouds. Het RKD en zijn collectie preciosa-foto’s, in RKD Bulletin (1998) 3, p. 1-11 (met foto’s).

Paul Stoop, Experimenten Blumenfeld waren hun tijd vooruit, in NRC Handelsblad 20 maart 1982, p. 6.

Pauline Terreehorst, Blumenfeld legde behaagzucht vast, in de Volkskrant 24 maart 1982.

Bas Roodnat, Blumenfeld: uiterst strenge estheticus, in NRC Handelsblad 5 mei 1982.

Max Pam, Erwin Blumenfeld. Een Joodse Céline, in HP. Haagse Post 69 (9 mei 1982) 18, p. 58-66.

G. Rizzoni (red.), Erwin Blumenfeld, Milaan (Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri) 1983.

Attilio Colombo (inl.), Erwin Blumenfeld, Parijs (Union des Editions Modernes) 1984 (met foto’s) (serie: Les grandes maîtres de la Photo, 12).

Rudolf Trefzer, Erwin Blumenfeld, in Der Alltag (1986) 1,p. 9-21.

Catalogus tent. Erwin Blumenfeld. Dada Collage and Photography, New York (Rachel Adler Gallery) 1988.

Flip Bool en Kees Broos, Nieuwe fotografie in Nederland, Amsterdam (Fragment Uitgeverij) 1989, p. 95, 138.

Gerard Forde, Paul Citroen & Erwin Blumenfeld 1919-1939, Londen (Photographer’s Gallery) 1993 (met foto’s).

Laura Bucciarelli, Blumenfeld et ses dames, in Journal de Genève et Gazette de Lausanne 19 januari 1995, p. 29.

William A. Èwing, & Marina Schinz, Blumenfeld. A Fetish for Beauty, Londen (Thames and Hudson) 1996.

Hripsimé Visser (red.), 100x Foto. 100 Foto’s uit de collectie van het Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Bussum/Amsterdam (Thoth/Stedelijk Museum) 1996, p. 76-77.

Melchior de Wolff, Het Ewig Weibliche van monden, haren, borsten, in de Volkskrant 25 september 1996, p. 15.

Esther Kerkhof, Erwin Blumenfeld. Verscholen schoonheid, in Het Parool 4 december 1996.

Rudolf Trefzer, Erwin Blumenfeld. Zeitzeuge, in Neue Bürcher Zeitung 11 januari 1997, p. 55-57.

Catalogus tent. Erwin Blumenfeld ‘Coming home’. Collagen und Zeichnungen 1916 bis 1930, Berlijn (Galerie Brusberg) 1998.

Flip Bool e.a. (red.), Paul Citroen [1896-1983], Amsterdam (Focus) z.j. [1998], p. 8, 28-29, 32, 114-115, 123-124 (serie: Monografieën van Nederlandse fotografen/Monographs on Dutch photographers 7).

Yorick Blumenfeld, The Naked and the Veiled. The photographic Nudes of Erwin Blumenfeld, New York (Thames and Hudson) 1999 (met foto’s).

Ileen Montijn, Blumenfeld, in NRC Handelsblad 8 februari 1999, p. 24.

Willem Ellenbroek, Smachtende blik achter een voile, in de Volkskrant 5 februari 1999.

Jhim Lamoree, Sentimenteel, maar boosaardig, in Het Parool 6 februari 1999, p. 16-17.

Cees Straus, Liefde voor etherische vrouwen, in Trouw 5 februari 1999. Pauline Terreehorst, Een oog voor vrouwen, in Vrij Nederland (6 februari 1999) 5. p. 54-57.

Eddie Marsman, Blumenfeld toverde met techniek en chemie. Vrouw via foto tot onwereldse schoonheid, in NRC Handelsblad 12 februari 1999.

Yvonne Brentjens, Een Fremdkörper in New York. De gratiën van fotograaf Erwin Blumenfeld, in Het Financieele Dagblad 6 maart 1999, p. 25.

Joan Dupont, A struggle to exposé an Avant-Garde Talent, in International Herald Tribune 26 februari 1999.

Johan de Vos, Ruikend naar goedkoop parfum. Tentoonstelling van fotograaf Erwin Blumenfeld in Amsterdam, in De Standaard 3 maart 1999, p. 5.

Vicki Goldberg, Finding a Camera and a new Career, The New York Times 19 november 1999.

Marianne Feilchenfeldt-Breslauer, Feilchenfeldt-Breslauer. Erinnerungen, Wadenswil (Nimbus) 2001, p. 96.

Wim van Sinderen (red.), Fotografen in Nederland. Een anthologie 1852-2002, Amsterdam/Gent/Den Haag (Ludion/Fotomuseum Den Haag) 2002, p. 51-51 (met foto’s).

Bas C. van Lier, Carel van Lier. Kunsthandelaar, wegbereider 1897-1945, Bussum (Thoth) 2003, p. 9, 36, 38-39, 43, 48, 81-82, 108, 131, 135 (met foto’s).

Michel Metayer, Erwin Blumenfeld 1897-1969, Londen (Phaidon) 2003.

Catalogus tent. Erwin Blumenfeld. Amsterdam, Paris, New York, New York (Gallery Deborah Bell Photographs) 2005 (met foto’s).

Carole Benaiteau, Amsterdam/Blumenfeld/Ciroen, in Laurent le Bon (red.), Dada, Washington (National Gallery of Art) 2005, p. 76-79.

Wim van Sinderen e.a., Erwin Blumenfeld. His Dutch Years 1918-1936, Den Haag (Veenman Publishers) 2006 (met foto’s).

Ype Koopmans, John Radecker. De droom van het levende beeld, Zwolle (Waanders) 2006, p. 146-147, 160, 164, 167, 181, 183-184, 188, 194-196, 201, 205, 217, 316 (1a-89) (met foto’s).

Anoniem [= Mattie Boom], Keuze uit de aanwinsten. 20ste-eeuwse fotografie, in Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum (2006) 3, p. 298-326.

Paola van de Velde, Obsessie voor het eeuwig vrouwelijke, in De Telegraaf 13 september 2006.

Roos van Put, De profetische blik van Blumenfeld, in Algemeen Dagblad 18 september 2006, p. 5.

Jos Bloemkolk, De Amsterdamse jaren van Erwin Blumenfeld, in Het Parool 20 september 2006.

Harmen Bockma, Verhulde en vergankelijke verleidelijkheid, in de Volkskrant 21 september 2006.

Eddie Marsman, Ik beloof je prachtfoto’s. Het vroege werk van Erwin Blumenfeld in het Fotomuseum Den Haag, in NRC Handelsblad 22 september 2006, p. 22.

Henny de Lange, In de burgerprut van Nederland legde Erwin Blumenfeld de basis voor zijn carrière, in Trouw 6 oktober 2006, p. 9.

Michel Guerrin, 1’Oeil d’Erwin Blumenfeld, in Le Monde 2, 7 oktober 2006, p. 62-69.

Sharon Cohen, Hollandse jaren, in Nieuw Israelietisch Weekblad 11 oktober 2006.

Hubert van den Berg, Erwin Blumenfeld. Zijn Hollandse Jaren, in De Witte Raaf (november/december 2006) 124, p. 43.

Flip Bool e.a. (red.), Nieuwe geschiedenis van de fotografie in Nederland. Dutch Eyes, Zwolle (Waanders i.s.m. Stichting Fotografie in Nederland) 2007, p. 184, 186.

Wim van Sinderen, Opmaat in Amsterdam, in Joke Pronk en Tineke de Ruiter (red), Fotovoorkeuren, Amsterdam (Voetnoot) 2007, p. 161-163.


(Nederlands werk)

1932 (e) Amsterdam, Kunstzaal van Lier, Erwin Blumenfeld. Foto’s.

1933 (e) Amsterdam, Kunstzaal van Lier, Cinquante têtes de femmes.

1934 (e) Arnhem, Toonzaal voor Sierkunst.

1934 (e) Den Haag, Esher Surrey Gallery, Cinquante têtes de femmes.

1934 (e) Rotterdam, Studio ’32, Erwin Blumenfeld. Foto’s.

1935 (g) Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kunstschool.

1935/1936 (g) Parijs, Musée du Louvre (Pavillon de Marsan), L’exposition Internationale Contemporaine.

1936 (e) Parijs, Galerie Billiet.

1978 (e) Amsterdam, Galerie Fiolet.

1982 (e) Amsterdam, Galerie Fiolet.

1982 (e) Breda, de Beyerd, Erwin Blumenfeld. Fotograaf 1897-1969.

1987 (e) Essen, Folkwang Museum.

1993 (g) Londen, Photographer’s Gallery, Paul Citroen & Erwin Blumenfeld 1919-1939.

1999 (e) Amsterdam, Joods Historisch Museum, Blumenfeld. A Fetish for Beauty.

1999 (g) Rotterdam, Cokkie Snoei.

2005 (g) Parijs, Centre Pompidou, Dada.

2005 (e) New York, Deborah Bell Photographs, Erwin Blumenfeld: Amsterdam, Paris, New York.

2006 (e) Den Haag, Fotomuseum Den Haag, Erwin Blumenfeld. His Dutch years 1918-1936.


Amstelveen, Han Emanuel (ongepubliceerde memoires: Walter Emanuel, zonder titel (ongepubliceerde memoires), z.j.).

Amsterdam , Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho (ongepubliceerde masterscriptie: Ich will neue Menschen schaffen. Ich will alle Frauen lieben. Blumenfelds Amsterdamse portretten 1930-1936, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, augustus 2007).

Amsterdam, Familiearchief Bas van Lier (Carel van Lier Archief).

Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, bibliotheek (foto’s en tijdschriften).

Antwerpen, Anni Radecker (documentatie en mondelinge informatie).

Cambridge, Yorick Blumenfeld (foto’s, documentatie en mondelinge informatie).

Den Haag, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie (Paul Citroen Archief).

Gif-sur-Yvette, Henry Blumenfeld (foto’s, documentatie en mondelinge informatie).

Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, bibliotheek en documentatiebestand.

New York, Lisette Blumenfeld (foto’s, documentatie en mondelinge informatie).


Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum.

Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum.

Den Haag, Haags Gemeentemuseum.

Den Haag, Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, bibliotheek en documentatiebestand.

Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.