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Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 23, 1995) was a German-born American photographer and photojournalist. One of the most prolific photographers of the twentieth century, he began his career in pre-World War II Germany, and after moving to the U.S., achieved prominence as a staff photographer for Life Magazine which featured more than 90 of his pictures on its covers with over 2,500 photo stories published.
Among his most famous cover photographs was the V-J Day celebration in New York City of "an exuberant American sailor kissing a nurse in a dancelike dip [that] summed up the euphoria many Americans felt as the war came to a close." Eisenstaedt was "renowned for his ability to capture memorable images of important people in the news, including statesmen, movie stars and artists" and for his candid photographs, taken with a small35mm Leica camera and typically with only natural lighting.
Eisenstaedt became known to millions worldwide through his work for LIFE Magazine, which he joined as one of the first four staff photographers in 1935 (when it was still Project X). His 86 covers and over 2500 assignments for LIFE have portrayed the earth-shaking events and influential people of the twentieth century, from the dignity of royalty to the elegance of movie stars, from the passion of scholars to the determination of diplomats. John F. Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, and Winston Churchill are just a few of the luminaries captured forever through Eisenstaedt's unfailing ability to seize the fleeting essence of the moment. Eisenstaedt has received numerous awards for his work including:
- Medal of the Arts
- International Understanding Award for Outstanding Achievement
- Photographic Society of America Achievement Award
- Photographer of the Year, Encyclopedia Britannica.
Time magazine heralded Eisenstaedt's V-J Day, Times Square,1945 as one of the ten greatest images in the history of photojournalism. The artist has also authored many books, including: Eisenstaedt's Album, People The Eye of Eisenstaedt Witness To Our Time Eisenstaedt's Guide to Photography Eisenstaedt's Martha's Vineyard Eisenstaedt: Remembrances.
Prestigious museums and galleries have exhibited Eisenstaedt's photographs, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the International Center of Photography (a retrospective), the Philadelphia College of Art, among others. Eisenstaedt's photographs are in the permanent collections of the Royal Photographic Society, London; the International Center of Photography, New York; the George Eastman House, Rochester; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
GALLERY M is a master dealer for LIFE and represents the complete collection of Eisenstaedt limited edition works and a select group from Eisenstaedt's private collection.