John Gutmann
German-American, 1905-1998
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
The Golden State, Photographs from California, 1865 to the present,
Scott Nichols Gallery
Alan Klotz Gallery at The Photography Show 2017, presented by AIPAD,
Alan Klotz Gallery

Trained as a painter in pre-war Germany, John Gutmann moved to America in 1933, when he picked up a camera, taught himself how to use it, and went on to become one of the foremost photojournalists of the 20th century. With his keen eye for composition and attunement to the avant-garde, he captured the character of his adopted country with artfulness and wit. In 1936, he embarked upon a cross-country road trip, photographing from coast-to-coast, amassing a body of images of Depression-era America. He also focused on the burgeoning car culture, street scenes, and, like Walker Evans, the sign-riddled American landscape. Gutmann served as a photographer with the U.S. Army during WWII, documenting the Pacific theater. His photographs have been published in national and international publications and shown worldwide; they reflect what he described as “the marvelous extravagance of life.”