Nathan Lerner (1913 - 1997)
Nathan Lerner was an influential graphic designer, photographer and educator who helped transmit Bauhaus ideas in the United States during the 1940s. A native of Chicago, he began making photographs while a teenager, documenting the effects of the Depression on his neighborhood. Lerner entered the New Bauhaus in 1937 and began to make experimental photographs in addition to his documentary work. From 1941 to 1943, Lerner was head of the photography department at the Institute of Design (a later incarnation of the New Bauhaus), and from 1945 to 1949, the head of production design and dean of faculty and students. Lerner left the Institute of Design in 1949 in order to establish Lerner Design Associates, which produced many famous industrial designs, including those for the Honey Bear and Neutrogena soap; he remained there until his retirement in 1973.
He is credited with developing the light box, a tool for studying the tonal and directional behavior of light still in use in art schools today, and László Moholy-Nagy considered him the inventor of "montage without scissors," a process of distorting images by combining dissimilar objects.
“Mishima, Tokyo, Japan”
1976, printed later
Gelatin silver print, #43 of an edition of 45
10.5 x 14 in. image on 16 x 20 in. paper
Signed, titled & dated in pencil on print verso