b. 1890 New York City, d. 1976 Orgival, France
Paul Strand began photographing in New York in the 1910s. During the early 1920s he received recognition for both his painting and his photography. He visited New Mexico in 1926 and, beginning in 1930, returned for three consecutive summers, making portraits of artist friends and acquaintances. It was there, amidst a community of visual artists and writers, that Strand began to develop his belief in the humanistic value of portraiture. Strand subsequently traveled to Mexico, where he photographed the landscape, architecture, folk art, and people and in 1934 produced a film about fishermen for the Mexican government. Thirteen years earlier he had collaborated with Charles Sheeler on a film, Manhatta, a study of the urban high-rise environment. Having returned to New York late in 1934, Strand devoted his energies to theater and filmmaking cooperatives. In 1943 Strand resumed his still photography, focusing on the people and surroundings of New England. In the early 1950s he moved to Europe, spending six weeks in the northern Italian agrarian community of Luzzara and later traveling to the Outer Hebrides, islands off the northwest coast of Scotland. He traveled and photographed in North and West Africa in the 1960s.