Ralph Steiner

Dates1899 - 1986
BornCleveland, Ohio, United States
DiedHanover, New Hampshire, United States

Ralph Steiner studied photography at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and at the Clarence White School from 1921 to 1922. With White's assistance, Steiner got a job making photogravure plates at the Manhattan Photogravure Company, where Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Work was printed. After about a year, he quit to became a freelance advertising and magazine photographer.

Steiner began to make films in the late 1920s. In 1936 he worked with Paul Strand on The Plow That Broke the Plains, Pare Lorentz's documentary film about the dust bowl storms. Two years later, Steiner and Willard Van Dyke founded American Documentary Films, Inc., and collaborated on The City, a critically acclaimed film about New York. Steiner moved to Hollywood in the 1940s but returned to New York in 1948. There he continued to freelance both as a photographer and cameraman and occasionally taught students. He relocated to Vermont in 1970, where he remained until his death.

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