Andreas Feininger, “Skeleton of Gaboon Viper”, 1952
Son of the late acclaimed artist Lyonel Feininger, American photographer Andreas Feininger was born in Paris in 1906, and graduated with highest honors in architecture from schools in Germany. At that time, Feininger was using a camera as his mechanical sketchbook for a reference aid in creating his building designs.
After a year’s work in France for architect Le Corbusier, followed by a struggle to find employment in Stockholm, Feininger turned his attention full-time to photography. He sold his first photos in 1932 and moved with his family to the United States in 1939. Feininger became a staff photographer in 1943 for LIFE magazine where he completed more than 430 assignments in a twenty year span.
Feininger’s works are known for their technique and panoramic grandeur. Such timeless images as the “New York Landscape Seen From Eight Miles Away in New Jersey”, taken in 1947, are notable for their harmony, balance, and grand scale. Through Feininger’s trained eye, the intricacies and beauty of both the natural and man-made world were magnified and intensified. His images revealed a new aesthetic of order and geometric perfection from the span of bridges to the symmetrical perfection of the skeleton of a carbon viper.