In 1912, when Emmanuel Radnitsky was 12 and living in Brooklyn, his parents shortened the family name to Ray. Emmanuel (whom the family called Manny) now called himself Man Ray. He was a repeat visitor to the 1913 Armory show of modernist art in Manhattan and to Alfred Stieglitz’s 291 Gallery. He studied painting with Robert Henri.
Man Ray once said his work was “designed to amuse, bewilder, annoy, or inspire reflection, but not to arouse admiration for any technical excellence usually sought in works of art. The streets are full of admirable craftsmen, but so few practical dreamers.”
Bill Brandt, Berenice Abbott and Lee Miller all were Ray’s assistants. Lucien Treillard, his last assistant and secretary of L’Association Man Ray, held the negative of the woman with long hair up to a curtained window.
John Loengard, Celebrating the Negative is available to museums as a touring exhibition from Curatorial Assistance.
Celebrating the Negative
by John Loengard
Release in 1994
Published by Arcade Publishing