Louise Dahl-Wolfe, "Twins at the Beach", 1949, printed in 1984, gelatin silver print, 11x14”. Courtesy of Staley-Wise Gallery, NYC.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe, “Twins at the Beach”, 1949, printed in 1984, gelatin silver print, 11×14”. Courtesy of Staley-Wise Gallery, NYC.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Ever since her work began to appear on the cover of Harperís Bazaar in the 1940s, Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s photographs have become a byword for exquisite and formal sophistication as well as the representation of the energized, healthy, American outdoor girl. She was known for taking photographs outdoors, with natural light in locations all over the world, in what became known as “environmental” fashion photography. While working for Harperís Dahl-Wolfe pioneered the use of natural lighting in the industry and favored shooting on location. Her innovations and modernist touches were widely celebrated in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, and like her colleague and contemporary Martin Munkacsi, she is remembered as an influence on a generation of photographers including Horst, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895 – 1989) was a noted American photographer primarily known for her work for Harperís Bazaar magazine. She was born in San Francisco, California where she attended the California School of Fine Arts (San Francisco Art Institute) for six years. She later studied design, decoration and architecture at Columbia College (NYC). Her work has been exhibited at the Fahey/Klein Gallery (Los Angeles, CA) and The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL). A retrospective of her work was exhibited at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. She has been published in various magazines such as Harperís Bazaar, Vogue and Sports Illustrated. She published a monograph, Louise Dahl-Wolfe: A Photographerís Scrapbook in 1984. The permanent collection of her work is located at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. Her work graced the cover of PQ issue #64 and was included in the 2010 exhibition PQ:100.