Paul Outerbridge Jr. (American, 1896–1958) burst onto the photographic art scene in the early 1920s with images that were visually fresh, technically adept, and decidedly Modernist. He also applied his talent for composition to the commercial world, introducing an artist's sensibility to advertisements for men's haberdashery, glassware, and JELL-O® in magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. An early master of the technically complex carbro color process, he used it to photograph nudes, often shown with a variety of props—images that skirted the limits of propriety in their day.
This catalogue was produced for the first exhibition of Outerbridge's work since 1981, held March 31 through August 9, 2009, at the J. Paul Getty Museum. It brings together one hundred photographs from all periods and styles of the photographer's career, including his Cubistic still-life images, commercial magazine photography, and nudes. The book includes an essay by the curator and a chronology of the artist's life and work.
Paul Martineau is assistant curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.