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Ira Stehmann Fine Art : William Helburn


Ira Stehmann Fine Art announces the representation of William Helburn (American, 1924-2020).

As a fashion photographer working in the advertising industry that worshipped creativity, Helburn’s “do it different” and “shock value” aesthetic was in demand from the late 1940s onwards. Combining elements of humour, luxury, sex, great style and the absurd, his images appeared frequently in ads and editorial pages in magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, LIFE and Town & Country.

Helburn developed close relationships with many of the reigning models of the day, including Dovima and Jean Patchett in the 1950s and Jean Shrimpton in the 1960s. He enjoyed a special friendship with actress Sharon Tate, whom he described as “a fabulous, wonderful girl.” Along with a passion for beautiful women and the high life, Helburn loved fast cars – particularly Ferraris. He raced, either independently or for Team Ferrari, on tracks including Watkins Glenn, Havana, and Sebring in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Helburn admitted that while he loved the scene, “I wasn’t a fast driver. I was a fast photographer-driver.” Auto-makers reciprocated – Helburn photographed for major American and European firms, from Chrysler, Ford and Cadillac to Jaguar and Triumph.

Helburn remained active into the 1980s, both continuing his work as a fashion and advertising photographer and directing and shooting television commercials. His work has been exhibited in museums, group and individual shows in cities including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Palm Beach. Helburn’s first book, published in 2014, is “William Helburn – Seventh and Madison”. William Helburn died in November 2020, in Connecticut. He was 96.


Ira Stehmann Fine Art
Prinzregentenstr. 78
81675 München
Open from Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 6pm and on appointment.

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