Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Helmut Newton (born Helmut Neustädter, 1920 –2004) was a German-Australian photographer. Interested in photography from the age of 12, he worked for the German photographer Yva (Elsie Neulander Simon) from 1936.
The increasingly oppressive restrictions placed on Jews by the Nuremberg laws meant that his father lost control of his factory; he was briefly interned in a concentration camp on Kristallnacht, 9 November 1938, which finally compelled the family to leave Germany. Newton's parents fled to South America. Helmut, just after turning 18, left Germany on 5 December 1938. At Trieste he boarded the Conte Rosso (along with about 200 others escaping the Nazis), intending to journey to China. After arriving in Singapore he found he was able to remain there, first briefly as a photographer for the Straits Times and then as a portrait photographer.
Newton was interned by British authorities while in Singapore and was sent to Australia on board the Queen Mary, arriving in Sydney on 27 September 1940. Internees travelled to the camp at Tatura, Victoria by train under armed guard. He was released from internment in 1942.
After the war in 1945, he became a British subject and changed his name to Newton in 1946. In 1948, he married actress June Browne, who performed under the stage name June Brunell.
He was a "prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications."