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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Philip Trager

Dates:  1935, 27 February -
Born:  US, CT, Bridgeport
Active:  US / France / Italy / UK
Contemporary American photographer.

Preparing biographies

Further research

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Guillaume Bernier
Philip Trager, Montmajour, France 
Family history 
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Visual indexes

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Supplemental information


Philip Trager

Additional biographical sources
Krantz, Les, ed. American Photographers: An Illustrated Who's Who among Leading Contemporary Americans Foreword by Cornell Capa. New York: Facts on File, 1989.
Browne, Turner, and Elaine Partnow, eds. Macmillan Biographical Encyclopedia of Photographic Artists and Innovators New York: Macmillan, 1983.
Witkin, Lee D. A Ten Year Salute: A Selection of Photographs in Celebration, The Witkin Gallery, 1969-1979 Danbury, New Hampshire: Addison House, 1979.
The images are authenticated with the signature of the photographer.
In 2008 there will be a major exhibition at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Additionally, the Library of Congress eventually will house Trager's archive -- including his negatives, contact sheets, annotated proofs, correspondence, limited editions, posters, and more -- and a comprehensive collection of over five hundred printed photographs in gelatin silver, plus platinum and iris prints, representing his entire oeuvre.
Trager's books have received exceptional critical acclaim, awards, and other special recognition. Four of his titles have been included in the highly selective annual "Holiday Books" issue of The New York Times Book Review. Other book awards include finalist for the Grand Prix Award at Les Recontres Internationales de la Photographie (Arles, France) and a Book of the Year from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (New York).
"The most handsome pictorial book published so far this year. . . . These photographs [in Photographs of Architecture] are commanding in their clarity and reserve. . . . At the same time, each suggests a novel. I cannot recall a collection of architectural photos. . . so evocative of human lives, dreams, yearnings."
Eliot Fremont-Smith, The Village Voice
"[T]he place-portraiture of Philip Trager's Palladian villas [is] . . . as beautiful, it seems to me, as any photographs I have ever seen."
Peter Schjeldahl, Introduction to Legacy of Light
"[The Villas of Palladio is] among the most impressive large-format architecture books to be published in many years."
Paul Goldberger, The New York Times Book Review
"[Dancers]. . . invented[ its] own means to capture the spirit of dance in stills. . . . movement is almost secondary to psychological theater. Figures. . . act out the alienation, anguish. . . and occasional exhilaration of much dance on stage today."
Vicki Goldberg, The New York Times Book Review
"[W]e get a sense of his flight, maybe even a stronger sense of it than if we saw it on a stage. . . . Trager orchestrates [movements] so that they almost invariably seem. . . a tale of expressionistic conflict or romantic yearning. . . . [T]hese scenes are more theatrical, more fictitious, in Trager's natural mise-en-scènes than they would be on a stage. . . . These are dancers as we never see them."
Marcia B. Siegel, Dance Ink
"…startling black and white museum pieces…[Dancers] besieges the eye with its bold sense of mystery, contradiction and surprise. . . . [Trager's] images, his very aesthetic, linger powerfully in the mind."
Los Angeles Times Book Review
"[T]he personality with which Trager shows each building [in Philip Trager: New York] derives from his own emotional response to it. . . distinctly personal vision."
Art in America
"[The Villas of Palladio] is a landmark book in architectural photography."
American Photographer
"[T]he pictures in this book are stunning."
Times Literary Supplement (London)  

Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.253-253 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 
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