Image 1 of 1
Simon_Guttmann.jpg
SIMON GUTTMAN..Photograph Copyright © Laurie Sparham...Simon Guttmann ( 1891 - 1990 ) was one of the most influential figures in the history of photography, but almost unknown even to insiders. Partly because he obstinately insisted on anonymity, and also because too many who knew him let him get away with it.  However Helmut Gernsheim had it right: "  'Dephot'  ( Deutscher Photodienst ), an agency in Berlin founded..by Alfred Marx and Simon Guttmann was until 1932 the leading enterprise in the sphere of photojournalism in Germany ". Simon, in other words, was central to the birth of modern photojournalism before it then spread to Paris, New York and London. Some of the most famous names in photography, such as Mann, Hutton and Capa, began their careers or worked through Dephot. ..This is not the place to expand on a life ranging from the world of pre-1914 poetry, through wartime with the Dadaists in Switzerland, then to revolutionary Russia and, after escaping Hitler, to the underground in Vichy France. What matters here is what happened next. Simon was whisked away to work in London at the Political Warfare Executive, where his job was to edit French language papers sent over at the time of the Normandy landings. Then - he stayed.  And began to work again with photographers Felix Mann and Kurt Hutton, refugees from his Berlin world and Dephot, at Picture Post, the illustrated magazine created by that other refugee, Stefan Lorant, who had more or less invented modern picture editing at the Münchener Illustrierte Presse. Simon worked at Picture Post as a kind of freelance picture editor, before founding Report, Dephot re-created in London, and inspiring generations of British photojournalists. I was one of the last to pass through his hands..