Who's Who San Francisco

"At the time when I was born, my father, Hermann Genthe, was a professor of Latin and Greek at the Graues Kloster (Gray Monastery) in Berlin, on of the oldest gymnasiums in Prsssia. I was not yet three when in the summer of 1871 my father was called to Frankfort-on-the-Main. My first recollection there is of a bronze cat on his library desk." --As I Remember, Chapter One

Originally trained as a classical scholar, Genthe taught himself photography soon after emigrating from Germany in 1895. The success of his photographs of San Francisco's Chinatown led him to establish a local portrait studio. He became famous for his impressionistic portrayals of society women, artists, dancers, and theater personalities. Moving to New York in 1911, Genthe experimented with the new Autochrome color process and executed one of the first documentary commissions in color. --Arnold Genthe Collection, Library of Congress

"I went to the top floor to see what had happened to my studio. The chimney had fallen through the roof, most of the book shelves had collapsed and the books were buried under mounds of plaster from the wall and ceiling." --Chapter Ten, EARTHQUAKE AND FIRE, As I Remember by Arnold Genthe



Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) had early interest in photography. She worked with Arnold Genthe, and had her own photography studio in San Francisco. She was part of the West Coast Bohemian group of photographers, and later married - and divorced - Maynard Dixon. --Lange

In 1926 Condé Nast discovered her when he literally saved her from being run over by a car. A portrait of Lee by Georges Lepape appeared on the cover of Vogue magazine in March 1927. As well as being a photographer, she was a model and photographic subject for many of the top photographers of the day; Edward Steicher, Man Ray, Arnold Genthe, George Hoyningen-Huene and Horst P. Horst to name but a few. --Photographer: Lee Miller (1907-1977)

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