PDN Photo of the Day

Fritz Henle, “Mr Rollei”

Over the course of his six decades as a photojournalist, fashion and commercial photographer, Fritz Henle traveled a lot. Born in Germany in 1909, he began his career in the 1930s, photographing artwork in Italy, taking pictures for a steamship line and traveling in Asia, where he made the images that became his first monograph, This Is Japan, published in 1937. He was an early contributor to LIFE, beginning that same year, and shot for magazines including Holiday, Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar, among others. A new show of his photographs opens today at Throckmorton Fine Art in New York City, and runs until June 24. Among the images it includes are photographs Henle, known as “Mr. Rollei” for his devotion to the square format, made in Mexico. They depict some of the influential artists he met there while waiting for a U.S. visa in 1936, including Jose Clemente Orozco, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as well as studies he made of the country in later years. Also included are images he made of the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he moved in 1958 and lived with his family until his death in 1993. Together, his images are a record of the work of a man who has been called “the last classic freelance photographer.”

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