Florence Homolka

Dates1911 - 1962

Florence Homolka, a successful portraitist, photographed numerous artists, playwrights, actors, writers, composers, musicians, statesmen, film stars, and other celebrities of her day. Her work included portraits of James Agee, Thomas Mann, Constantin Brancusi, Charles Chaplin, Judy Garland, Vladimir Horowitz, and the photographers Edward Steichen, Man Ray, Walker Evans, and Brassaï.

Born Florence Meyer, Homolka grew up surrounded by some of the most prominent cultural figures of the time. She pursued studies in dance and acting in Paris and Berlin and married character actor Oscar Homolka in 1939. The couple was part of the close-knit New York theatrical and literary world, on which she drew as she became a photographer. She sold portraits for use in posters and for publicity, and her work appeared annually in U.S. Camera from 1947 to 1950.

Homolka moved to Los Angeles around 1943, where she did still photography for film projects including Charlie Chaplin's Limelight (1952). She periodically showed her work to Man Ray, who lived in Hollywood throughout the 1940s. From 1951 to 1957, Homolka lived in Europe and New York, where she often met with Walker Evans to discuss her photography.