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Jerome Liebling, Butterfly boy, New York City

Jerome Liebling Butterfly boy, New York City , 1949

View in a room Photography 12 x 12 inch 1 remaining copy

$15,000

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Jerome Liebling, Butterfly boy, New York City
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Jerome Liebling

Born in: 1924

France

Jérôme Liebling is an American photographer, director and teacher, he was born on April 14th, 1924 in Harlem and died on July 27th, 2011 in Northampton, Massachusetts. He grew up in poverty in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 1942, Liebling dropped out during the first semester from the Brooklyn University and joined the Second World War. He served in the glider infantry, and it was known to be deadly. The disaster he experienced added to his creative impulse "to understand where the pain actually was present..." Liebling came back to the University of Brooklyn in 1946 to study art,by G.I. Bill. Ad Reinhardt's drawing lessons intensified his sensitivity and the documentary photographer, namely Walter Rosenblum opened his eyes and showed him the power of a photographic image.

In 1947, Liebling joined "The Photo League", a group of socially open-minded photographers who wander through New York in order to immortalize the hidden corners of the city. For Liebling, the children of the tempestuous streets of the city were the symbol of strength. One Easter morning in Harlem, Liebling came across a young child in his Sunday best: broken shoe laces, tattered pants, a worn out tweed jacket and cap. His hands were in his pockets, the boy opened his jacket wide and Liebling immortalized this scene and this turns into the famous "Butterfly Boy" This image of a winged superhero who is able to escape from the world of poverty becomes a true icon, he appears on public posters and billboards of New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Japan and elsewhere.

In 1949, Liebling accepted a job offer to teach photography at the University of Minnesota. This is when a long lasting collaborative relationship began with the filmmaker Allen Downs. Together, they produced several award-winning documentaries, including Pow Wow, The Tree Is Dead, and The Old Men.

Jérôme Liebling's work is well-known all over the world, he has won several awards and received many grants including two from Guggenheim and another grant from the Massachusetts Arts Council. His photos are part of the permanent collections in many museums, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, the Jewish Museum in New York and the National Gallery in Ottawa, Canada.
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Jerome Liebling, Butterfly boy, New York City
Jerome Liebling, Butterfly boy, New York City

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