Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942

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German-born American photographer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : New York, to [Isadora Duncan], [1915 or later]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 501196416

From the description of Autograph letter signed : New York, to [Isadora Duncan], Tuesday [ca. 1915]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 501196335

Photographer and pioneer in dance photography.

From the description of Correspondence and writings, 1928-1942. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122364062

Arthur Davison Ficke (1883-1946) was a poet, author and collector of Japanese and Chinese art.

From the guide to the Arthur Davison Ficke papers, 1924-1957, 1935-1942, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Genthe was a German-born photographer who lived and practiced photography in San Francisco, Calif., from 1895-1910.

From the description of Arnold Genthe letter : to Eleanor Davenport : ALS, [1910]. (California Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 122563640

Arnold Genthe, 1869-1942, photographer, classical scholar, and collector. A celebrated social photographer, he was also a pioneer dance photographer, he depicted Isadora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, Ruth St.Denis, and many other legendary dancers of his day.

From the guide to the Arnold Genthe correspondence and writings, 1928-1942, (The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.)

American photographer.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to Belle da Costa Greene, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 269574048

Photographer Arnold Genthe (1869-1942) emigrated in 1895 from his native Germany to San Francisco, California. A doctoral student of classical philosophy in Germany, Genthe impulsively decided, on the cusp of an academic career, to take a position as a tutor in San Francisco for a year. He fell in love with the city and ended up settling there, teaching himself photography and quickly gaining recognition for his views of Chinatown street life. After 1906, he switched his artistic focus mainly to portraits circles.

Genthe's portrait photography really came into its own when he moved his studio to Manhattan in 1911. There he ran in society circles, with subjects and friends often one and the same. Some of the great theater and film actresses of the day appeared in his portraits (Greta Garbo, Mary Pickford, Julia Marlowe), as did socialites such as Mary Astor and artists and writers like Childe Hassam, Jack London, and Ezra Pound. Early modern dancers were a favorite subject of his as well, and he captured such pioneers as Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Anna Pavlowa as they pushed social and cultural boundaries.

Never married, Genthe was seen as something of a ladies' man - indeed, he seemed never to lack female subjects for his portraits, some photographed in states of undress that even now might be considered risqué. An early 20th-century cartoon by Haig Patigan shows Genthe with three young "Gibson Girls" and is titled "Herr Doctor Taking Peaches"; another illustration, by Maynard Dixon, shows Genthe behind the camera, seemingly working his magic on a young woman in a filmy gown. Yet Genthe was not known as a cad; he seemed to have a true appreciation of the beauty and intellect of women young and old alike. Once, when asked to name the most beautiful woman he had ever photographed, he surprised his questioner by telling him it was the actress Eleanora Duse - when she was 64.

Genthe's many travels (to Latin America, the Far East, and Europe, which he photographed as well), add to what seems to have been a charmed and exotic life. He published a number of books of photographs, including The Book of the Dance, Pictures of Old Chinatown, and Impressions of Old New Orleans. A friend once said to him, "You certainly are a queer duck - a Don Juan, a Hermit Monk, a Chinese Sage, a University Professor - all rolled into one." To this he replied: "Well, maybe. Of this I am sure: I have never been bored, and I daresay I have had as much out of life as is coming to any man."

From the guide to the Arnold Genthe Photograph Collection, [1895]-1942, (Bulk 1906-1927), (© 2011 New-York Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Arnold Genthe letter : to Eleanor Davenport : ALS, [1910]. California Historical Society
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Autochrome of the West Room of the Library] [picture]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Correspondence and writings, 1928-1942. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Forbes Watson papers, 1840-1967, bulk 1900-1960 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Padgette, Paul. Paul Padgette collection of Annette Rosenshine material [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Fu Feng Distillery. Chinese-American business miscellany, [1900s]-1952. The California Digital Library
referencedIn Dumont, Henry, 1878-1942. Henry Dumont and Nina Webster Dumont papers, 1905-1943 (bulk 1930-1936). Library of Congress
creatorOf Sterner, Albert, 1863-1946. Albert and Marie Sterner letters received, 1899-1945. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. White House [picture]. Haverford College Library
creatorOf Deutsch, Boris, 1892 or 5-1978. Boris Deutsch papers, 1925-1977. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Haas, Elise S. (Elise Stern). Elise Stern Haas family photographs [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Genthe, Arnold : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
creatorOf Ederheimer, R. (Richard), 1878-1959. Richard Ederheimer papers, 1892-1959. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Autochrome of Vivarini painting] [picture]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Autochrome of the West Room of the Morgan Library] [picture]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Peck, Orrin M., 1860-1921,. Orrin Peck Collection of Photographs [graphic], 1878-1951 (bulk 1890-1915). Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Rockwell Kent [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Ernest Peixotto [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Ficke, Arthur Davison, 1883-1946. Arthur Davison Ficke papers, 1924-1957, bulk (1935-1942). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Fiske, George, 1835-1918. Miscellaneous California views from the collection of Joseph A. Baird [graphic] UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Edward Whiting Hopkins family photograph albums [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Porter Garnett and Edna Foote Garnett family photographs and portraits [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Miscellaneous manuscripts. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Zelinsky, Barbara. Barbara Zelinsky photograph albums and scrapbook [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1969. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Marie Feiling portrait] [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Caffin, Charles Henry, 1854-1918. Charles Henry Caffin papers, ca. 1883-1973. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Lilienthal family. Lilienthal family papers and photographs, 1840-1961. Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, Rabbi Morris Goldstein Library
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Autograph letter signed : New York, to [Isadora Duncan], [1915 or later]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Boyé, Otto H. Photographs from William C. Hendricks papers [graphic]. California Historical Society
creatorOf Arnold Genthe Photograph Collection, [1895]-1942, (Bulk 1906-1927) © 2011 New-York Historical Society
creatorOf Caffin, Charles Henry, 1854-1918. Charles Henry Caffin papers, circa 1883-1973, bulk 1883-1918. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Artists collection, ca. 1902-1939. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Baltimore Museum of Art Library & Archives
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Abraham Walkowitz [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Sterling, George, 1869-1926. Poems to Vera : manuscript, 1909, 1911 and undated. Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Korzybska, Mira Edgerly, 1872-1954. Mira Edgerly Korzybska papers, ca.1850-1960. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1969 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Autograph letter signed : New York, to [Isadora Duncan], Thursday [1911 or later]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Scrapbook of clippings relating to photographer Arnold Genthe, 1902-1916. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970. Martin Birnbaum papers, 1862-1970. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Arthur Davison Ficke papers, 1924-1957, 1935-1942 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Henry Dumont and Nina Webster Dumont Papers, 1905-1943, (bulk 1930-1936) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
creatorOf Piazzoni, Gottardo, 1872-1945. Gottardo Piazzoni papers, 1900-1976. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Art Center (New York, N.Y.). Art Center exhibition catalogs, [undated] and 1921-1925. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn American war posters from the First World War, circa 1914-circa 1919, bulk 1917-1919 The Bancroft Library.
creatorOf Wornum, Miriam. Miriam Wornum photograph collection, 1898-1930. Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, Rabbi Morris Goldstein Library
referencedIn Orrin Peck Collection of Photographs, 1878-1951, (bulk 1890-1915) The Huntington Library
creatorOf Finnie, Anne Ackerman, 1911-1995. Anne Ackerman Finnie family papers, 1899-1981. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Autograph letter signed : New York, to [Isadora Duncan], Tuesday [ca. 1915]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Autochrome of the Castagno portrait of a man] [picture]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Autochrome of Ghirlandaio painting of Giovanna Tournabuoni] [picture]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection The Bancroft Library. Berkeley, California 94720-6000
creatorOf Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. Abraham Walkowitz papers, 1904-1966. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Gertrude S. Neustadter and daughter Mary Anne] [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960. Forbes Watson papers, 1840-1967, bulk 1900-1960. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Man Ray, 1890-1976. Photographic portraits of Ilka Chase by Man Ray and others, 1925-1930s. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Arnold Genthe correspondence and writings, 1928-1942 The New York Public Library. Jerome Robbins Dance Division.
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Andrew Dasburg [graphic]. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Lange, Dorothea. Dorothea Lange : the making of a documentary photographer. Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
creatorOf Walter, Valerie Harrisse, b. 1892. Valerie Harrisse Walter papers, [ca. 1920]-1979. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Charles Henry Caffin papers, circa 1883-1973, bulk 1883-1918 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Lilienthal family. Lilienthal family papers and photographs, 1840-1961. Judah L. Magnes Memorial Museum, Rabbi Morris Goldstein Library
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Photographs of Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Wilson, 1920, n.d. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Portrait of Charles A. Murdock] [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Correspondence file, 1929, from Horace Liveright, Inc. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to Belle da Costa Greene, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Genthe, Arnold, 1869-1942. [Autochrome of J. Pierpont Morgan] [picture]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn The Chinese in California, 1850-1925 The Bancroft Library. Berkeley, California 94720-6000
creatorOf Weitenkampf, Frank, 1866-1962. Frank Weitenkampf letters, 1889-1942. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Arnold Genthe person
associatedWith Art Center (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970. person
associatedWith Caffin, Charles Henry, 1854-1918. person
associatedWith Code, Grant Hyde. person
associatedWith Dasburg, Andrew, 1887-1979. person
associatedWith Davenport, Eleanor. person
associatedWith Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold), 1856-1933. person
associatedWith Deutsch, Boris, 1892 or 5-1978. person
correspondedWith Dumont, Henry, 1878-1942. person
correspondedWith Dumont, Nina Webster, 1887-1953 person
associatedWith Duncan, Isadora, 1877-1927, person
associatedWith Ederheimer, R. (Richard), 1878-1959. person
associatedWith Feiling, Marie person
associatedWith Ficke, Arthur Davison, 1883-1946. person
associatedWith Ficke, Gladys Brown person
associatedWith Finnie, Anne Ackerman, 1911-1995. person
associatedWith Flagg, James Montgomery, 1877-1960 person
associatedWith Garbo, Greta, 1905- person
associatedWith Ghirlandaio, Domenico, 1449-1494. person
associatedWith Greene, Belle da Costa, person
associatedWith Haas, Elise S. (Elise Stern) person
associatedWith Hassam, Childe, 1859-1935 person
associatedWith Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971. person
associatedWith Korzybska, Mira Edgerly, 1872-1954. person
associatedWith Lange, Dorothea. person
associatedWith Ledoux, Louis V. (Louis Vernon), 1880-1948 person
associatedWith Lilienthal family. family
associatedWith Lilienthal family. family
associatedWith London, Jack, 1876-1916 person
associatedWith Man Ray, 1890-1976. person
associatedWith Metzgar, Judson D person
associatedWith Millay, Edna St. Vincent, 1892-1950 person
associatedWith Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913 person
associatedWith Morgan, J. P. (John Pierpont), 1867-1943 person
associatedWith Murdock, Charles A. (Charles Albert), 1841-1928 person
associatedWith Neustadter, Gertrude S. person
associatedWith Neustadter, Mary Anne person
associatedWith Pavlova, Anna, 1881-1931. person
associatedWith Peck, Orrin M., 1860-1921, person
associatedWith Peixotto, Ernest, b. 1869. person
associatedWith Piazzoni, Gottardo, 1872-1945. person
associatedWith Pickford, Mary, 1892-1979 person
associatedWith Pierpont Morgan Library corporateBody
associatedWith Sterling, George, 1869-1926. person
associatedWith Sterner, Albert, 1863-1946. person
associatedWith Van Heerden, Jan, Mrs, person
associatedWith Walkowitz, Abraham, 1880-1965. person
associatedWith Walter, Valerie Harrisse, b. 1892. person
associatedWith Watson, Forbes person
associatedWith Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960. person
associatedWith Weitenkampf, Frank, 1866-1962. person
associatedWith White House (Washington, D.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Wornum, Miriam. person
associatedWith Zelinsky, Barbara. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California--San Francisco
Guatemala
Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.)
Salt Lake City (Utah)
Long Island (N.Y.)
New Orleans (La.)
Europe
New York (N.Y.)
California--San Francisco Bay Area
White Sulphur Springs (W.Va.)
Japan
Subject
Art--East Asia--Study and teaching
Authors--Portraits
Celebrities--Portraits
Art--Collectors and collecting--China
Dancers--Portraits
Artists--Portraits
Streets--California--San Francisco--Photographs
Chinese--California--San Francisco--Photographs
Portraits
Painters
Manuscripts--Collections
Actors--Portraits
Portrait photography
Printers--Photographs
Photographers--Correspondence
Art--Collectors and collecting--Japan
Illustrators
Lithographers
Prints, Japanese--Collectors and collecting
Cats--Photographs
Occupation
Artists
Photographers
Dance photographers
Function

Person

Birth 1869-01-08

Death 1942-08-09

Americans

German

Information

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SNAC ID: 28374570