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Adolf Gayne de Meyer (1868-1946)
Adolf Gayne de Meyer (1868-1946)

Of good birth in 1868, Adolf Meyer Watson grew up in Germany, France and Great Britain. He showed a certain predisposition for the arts and aesthetics, especially painting. However, he chose to devote himself to photography and joined the Royal Photographic Society of London. A worthy representative of the pictorialist current, it was only natural that he should join the Linked Ring, the English branch of a by-then international movement. His marriage to Olga Caracciolo, rumoured daughter of King Edward VII, opened the doors to the high society that subsequently became his clientele.

Around 1903, he befriended the tutelary figure of photographic art of the time, Alfred Stieglitz. Between 1907 and 1912, the latter exhibited his work in the 291 gallery and published it in Camera Work magazine.

Also in 1912, the Russian and Nijinsky ballets performed in London. Adolf de Meyer seized the opportunity to produce iconic images of the famous dancer, which gave rise to a volume in collotype print in 1914.

War forced Adolf Meyer to seek refuge in the United States where the fashion publications, Vogue and Vanity Fair, opened their pages to him for fashion photography. This photographic sector became his favorite field even after his return to Europe in the early 1920s.

The end of his career until his death in 1946 in California remains more obscure. Nevertheless, he remains one of the great names in pictorialist photography, having never abandoned his taste for elegance whatever the subject his eyes and his technique were focusing upon.

Gayne de Meyer Adolf de, baron (1868-1946)
Paris, musée d'Orsay
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