ARTS & CULTURE

Humble Snapshots Of 20th Century Art Giants Being Regular People

06/30/2015 08:44 am ET | Updated Jun 30, 2015

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Jackson Pollock, Clement Greenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, and an unidentified child at the beach in East Hampton, New York, July 1952. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers.

If you've ever wished for an art world equivalent of a celebrity tabloid that would prove 20th century giants like Picasso, Kahlo and Pollock were really just like us, look no further.

Tucked away in none other than the Smithsonian’s archives, amongst diaries, letters and other artist mementos, rests a treasure trove of artist photos so average, it's pretty extraordinary. We're talking Andy Warhol crossing the street, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner enjoying a beach day, Alexander Calder ogling one of his iconic mobiles, Ansel Adams taking a solo shot in a photo booth. Never before have the biggest artists of the 20th century seemed so much like, well, normal people.

As explained by the folks at Smithsonian: "Unlike the familiar official portraits and genius-at-work shots, these humble snaps capture creative giants with their guard down, in the moment, living life." The black-and-white gems have been compiled into a book entitled Artists Unframed, by Merry A. Foresta, an independent curator and former curator of photography at the Smithsonian Institution.

See a preview of the book, available from Princeton Architectural Press, here.

  • Andy Warhol in New York City, ca. 1949. Photograph by Philip Pearlstein, Philip Pearlstein papers.
  • David Hockney at his studio in Los Angeles, April 1982. Photograph by André Emmerich, André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers.
  • Pablo Picasso and his daughter Maya, ca. 1944. William and Ethel Baziotes papers.
  • Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Coyoacán, Mexico. Photograph by Chester Dale, Chester Dale papers.
  • Jackson Pollock, Clement Greenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, and an unidentified child at the beach in East Hampton, New York, July 1952. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers.
  • Wessel Couzijn and Esther Rolick in Rolick’s New York studio, 1945. Esther G. Rolick papers.
  • Alexander Calder and Agnes Rindge Claflin in Calder’s studio, ca. 1942. Agnes Rindge Claflin papers concerning Alexander Calder.
  • Gertrude Abercrombie kissing an unidentified individual in a Photomatic booth, ca. 1945. Gertrude Abercrombie papers.
  • Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Villon, and Raymond Duchamp-Villon with dog Pipe in the garden of Villon’s studio, Puteaux, France, 1913. Walt Kuhn, Kuhn Family papers and Armory Show records.
  • N. C. Wyeth in his Delaware studio with Allen Tupper True modeling as a cowboy, ca. 1905. Allen Tupper True and True Family papers.
  • Helen Lundeberg at Mount Baldy, San Bernardino County, California, October 1943. Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg papers.
  • Ansel Adams, 1936. Katharine Kuh papers.

Also on HuffPost:

  • Anonymous image of Frida Kahlo braiding Rosa Covarrubias hair 1940 gelatin silver print
  • Anonymous image of Frida Kahlo resting, 1943 gelatin silver print 4
  • Dora Maar image of Frida Kahlo at Andre Breton, Paris, 1938-9 gelatin silver print 11
  • Frida by painting
  • Diego Rivera & Walt Disney
  • Hector Garcia image, Portrait of Frida Kahlo, in front of her painting of the Earth Goddess Frida Diego c1940 gelatin silver print 13
  • Nickolas Muray image of Frida Kahlo with Chavela Vargas, 1945 gelatin silver print 3
  • Photographer Gisele Freund shot Frida Kahlo at La Casa Azul
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