Louise Dahl-Wolfe

Dates1895 - 1989
BornAlameda, California, United States
DiedAllendale, New Jersey, United States

Louise Dahl-Wolfe was born and raised in San Francisco, where she studied at the San Francisco Institute of Art. She designed electric signs, but a visit in 1921 to photographer Anne Brigman's studio sparked her interest in photography. A first attempt to "do Brigmans,"--i.e., to make photographs that looked like Brigman's celebrated images, with a group of friends among the cypress trees of Point Lobos--encouraged Dahl-Wolfe to update her equipment. A later meeting with the photographer Consuelo Kanaga furthered her interest in the medium.

Following travels in Europe and marriage to painter and sculptor Meyer Wolfe, Dahl-Wolfe found herself in New York in 1933, where she began to photograph food for a women's magazine. After one of her portraits made in Tennessee was published in Vanity Fair and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, she was asked to make fashion photographs, becoming a staff photographer at Harper's Bazaar magazine in 1936. Dahl-Wolfe specialized in color photography. She later photographed movie stars in Hollywood and worked for Vogue and Sports Illustrated. She retired in 1960.