“Give me a kiss to build a dream on,
And my imagination will thrive upon that kiss
Sweetheart, I ask no more than this
A kiss to build a dream on”
“Woman sunbathing” (1935) by Martin Munkácsi. Munkácsi was a newspaper writer and photographer in Hungary, specializing in sports. At the time, sports action photography could only be done in bright light outdoors. Munkácsi’s innovation was to make sports photographs as meticulously composed action photographs, which required both artistic and technical skill.
On March 21, 1933, he photographed the aged President Paul von Hindenburg handing Germany over to Adolf Hitler. On assignment for the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, he photographed Hitler’s inner circle, ironically because he was a Jew and a foreigner.
Munkácsi left for New York after Hitler closed the magazine, where he signed on, for a substantial $100,000, with Harper’s Bazaar, a top fashion magazine. Innovatively, he often left the studio to shoot outdoors, on the beach, on farms and fields, at an airport. He produced one of the first articles illustrated with nude photographs in a popular magazine.
His portraits include Katharine Hepburn, Leslie Howard, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Jane Russell, Louis Armstrong, and the definitive dance photograph of Fred Astaire.