Frank Eugene

Frank Eugene
(b. 1865; d. 1936)

Frank Eugene Smith was born in New York, he went to live in Munich when in his twenties and just after the turn of the century he became a lecturer in photography in that city. More than any other photographer of the early 20th century, Eugene was recognized as the master of the manipulated image.

He became a member of the Linked Ring in 1900, and was a founder-member of the Photo-Secession, In 1910 twenty-seven of his photographs were exhibited at a major exhibition in Buffalo, New York. The catalog for this show described Eugene as the first photographer to make successful platinum prints on Japan tissue. Ten more of his gravures published in Camera Work, No.30 , and fourteen additional images appear in No.31. between 1904 and 1916. He was an expert etcher, and many of his pictures show the use of the etcher’s needle.

In 1913 he was appointed Royal Professor of Pictorial Photography by the Royal Academy of the Graphic Arts of Leipzig. This professorship, created especially for Eugene, is the first chair for pictorial photography anywhere in the world.

Two years later Eugene gave up his American citizenship and became a citizen of Germany. He continued teaching for many years and was head of the photography department at the Royal Academy until it closed in 1927.
Eugene died of heart failure in Munich in 1936.


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