Martin Munkacsi
Think While You Shoot!

Martin Munkacsi.
The goalkeeper is a split second too late. Budapest.
In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 42/1928 Vintage print.
About 1928.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
A shot at all costs! Long Island.
1935.
In: Harper’s Bazaar 11/1935.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: F. C. Gundlach Collection Martin Munkacsi.
At 100 kilometers. Hungary.
1929.
In: Berliner Morgenpost 31.5.1929.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
The Munich flying school. Boxing as fitness training. Schleißheim.
1928.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
The Munich flying school. An airplane relay over the Alps. Bavarian Alps.
1928.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
The Munich flying school – two planes meet. Bavarian Alps.
1928.
In: UHU 4/1934.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Lovely autumn – the last warm rays of sunshine.
In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 39/1929.
Vintage print.
About 1929.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Max Schmeling and Olga Tschechowa at the Berlin Press Ball. Berlin.
In: Zeitbilder 5/1930.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Tennis player Gottfried Freiherr von Cramm and his wife Elisabeth.
1930.
In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 45/1930.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Boys running into the surf at Lake Tanganyika.
1930.
In: Die Dame 21/1931 and Pesti Naplo 12.7.1931.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Boys running into the surf at Lake Tanganyika.
1930.
In: Die Dame 21/1931 and Pesti Naplo 12.7.1931.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Fun during a lunch break. Berlin.
1931.
In: Die Dame 4/1932 and Vu 313/1934.
Later Print.
Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection Martin Munkacsi.
Jumping fox terrier. Germany.
In: Die Dame 15/1932.
Later Print.
About 1930.
Courtesy: The Estate of Martin Munkacsi Martin Munkacsi.
“Tag von Potsdam” – The German Army marches out. Potsdam.
March 21, 1933.
In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung special edition 21.3.1933.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: ullstein bild Martin Munkacsi.
Lucile Brokaw on Long Island beach. New York.
November , 1933.
In: Harper’s Bazaar, December 1933.
Later Print.
Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection Martin Munkacsi.
Fred Astaire on his Toes. New York.
1936.
In: Life 28.12.1936.
Reproprint.
Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection Martin Munkacsi.
Fred Astaire on his Toes. New York.
1936.
In: Life 28.12.1936.
Reproprint.
Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection Martin Munkacsi.
Paris Blues – Louis Armstrong laughs. Paris.
1961.
Vintage print.
Courtesy: The Estate of Martin Munkacsi Martin Munkacsi.
The Happy Family – The Poor Relative.
Double page spread on cardboard.
About 1955.
Courtesy: The Estate of Martin Munkacsi Martin Munkacsi.
Marlene Dietrich on board S.S.Normandie.
1936.
In: Harper’s Bazaar, September 1936.
Reproprint

Martin Munkacsi. The goalkeeper is a split second too late. Budapest. In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 42/1928 Vintage print. About 1928. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. A shot at all costs! Long Island. 1935. In: Harper’s Bazaar 11/1935. Vintage print. Courtesy: F. C. Gundlach Collection

Martin Munkacsi. At 100 kilometers. Hungary. 1929. In: Berliner Morgenpost 31.5.1929. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. The Munich flying school. Boxing as fitness training. Schleißheim. 1928. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. The Munich flying school. An airplane relay over the Alps. Bavarian Alps. 1928. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. The Munich flying school – two planes meet. Bavarian Alps. 1928. In: UHU 4/1934. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Lovely autumn – the last warm rays of sunshine. In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 39/1929. Vintage print. About 1929. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Max Schmeling and Olga Tschechowa at the Berlin Press Ball. Berlin. In: Zeitbilder 5/1930. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Tennis player Gottfried Freiherr von Cramm and his wife Elisabeth. 1930. In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 45/1930. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Boys running into the surf at Lake Tanganyika. 1930. In: Die Dame 21/1931 and Pesti Naplo 12.7.1931. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Boys running into the surf at Lake Tanganyika. 1930. In: Die Dame 21/1931 and Pesti Naplo 12.7.1931. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Fun during a lunch break. Berlin. 1931. In: Die Dame 4/1932 and Vu 313/1934. Later Print. Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection

Martin Munkacsi. Jumping fox terrier. Germany. In: Die Dame 15/1932. Later Print. About 1930. Courtesy: The Estate of Martin Munkacsi

Martin Munkacsi. “Tag von Potsdam” – The German Army marches out. Potsdam. March 21, 1933. In: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung special edition 21.3.1933. Vintage print. Courtesy: ullstein bild

Martin Munkacsi. Lucile Brokaw on Long Island beach. New York. November , 1933. In: Harper’s Bazaar, December 1933. Later Print. Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection

Martin Munkacsi. Fred Astaire on his Toes. New York. 1936. In: Life 28.12.1936. Reproprint. Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection

Martin Munkacsi. Fred Astaire on his Toes. New York. 1936. In: Life 28.12.1936. Reproprint. Courtesy: F.C. Gundlach Collection

Martin Munkacsi. Paris Blues – Louis Armstrong laughs. Paris. 1961. Vintage print. Courtesy: The Estate of Martin Munkacsi

Martin Munkacsi. The Happy Family – The Poor Relative. Double page spread on cardboard. About 1955. Courtesy: The Estate of Martin Munkacsi

Martin Munkacsi. Marlene Dietrich on board S.S.Normandie. 1936. In: Harper’s Bazaar, September 1936. Reproprint

Moscow, 17.10.2008—23.11.2008

exhibition is over

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Curator: F.C.Gundlach

Famous today as an outstanding fashion photographer, Martin Munkacsi began his photographic career in Budapest as a reporter for daily and sports newspapers. Probably sport was the only reason Munkacsi became involved in journalism: a passionate fan of skating, tobogganing and soccer, he wrote about sports events as well as photographing them.

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Curator: F.C.Gundlach

Famous today as an outstanding fashion photographer, Martin Munkacsi began his photographic career in Budapest as a reporter for daily and sports newspapers. Probably sport was the only reason Munkacsi became involved in journalism: a passionate fan of skating, tobogganing and soccer, he wrote about sports events as well as photographing them.

Munkacsi went on to work in every sphere of photography and was soon on a par with Rudolf Balogh, one of the most printed photographers at Pesti Naplo. Munkacsi reacted to being called a phenomenal landscape photographer, brilliant photo-reporter or remarkable portraitist with skepticism. A good photographer, he wrote, should be like the family doctor, capable of anything.

After leaving for Berlin in 1928, Munkacsi signed a contract with major publisher Ullstein and was dispatched on missions to Ankara, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Cairo, Algeria and South America. He photographed the Prince of Wales, Kemal Pasha, Knut Hamsun, Selma Lagerlof, Leni Riefenstahl and Edvard Munch. Already he was well known as a photojournalist and his work was published all over Europe. In 1933 Munkacsi recorded the Nazi rally in Potsdam and his photographs were printed in a special issue of BIZ (the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, the most widely-circulated issue worldwide).

In 1934 Munkacsi arrived in New York, where Carmel Snow (Harper’s Bazaar) and Edward Steichen (Vogue) offered him work. Munkacsi’s professionalism (he used both negatives and plates), his aesthetic criteria (preferring plein air to the studio, even for nude shoots) and his origins (born in south-eastern Europe, he was unconstrained by the conditionality of fashion photography) brought him success in America and he became one of the most highly-paid photographers in the world of fashion magazines and glossy periodicals.

«Think While You Shoot!» was Munkacsi’s advice from the pages of Harper’s Bazaar in 1935 to photographers wishing to capture the new dynamism. Characteristics of his vision and recognisable style such as movement and diagonals demonstrated Munkacsi’s experience as a sports photographer, the ability to catch a thousandth of a second in the lens (hence The Decisive Moment in the work of Cartier-Bresson, who regarded Munkacsi as his teacher) and his mastery of framing. Munkacsi always used a medium-format camera (9×12), despised narrow-gauge film and favoured large-format prints (24×30).

After three divorces he lived the last few years of his life in straitened circumstances, even pawning his camera and art collection. The greatest photographer the world has ever seen, writer, raconteur, admirer of the female sex and connoisseur of art, Munkacsi died from a second heart attack, the result of a goal opportunity when he attended a soccer game in a New York stadium.

For the loan of the exhibited works, our thanks go to:
Joan Munkasci, Woodstock
John Harper Esten, New York
F. C. Gundlach Foundation, Hamburg
Thank:
Robert Lebeck and Csaba Morocz

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