Brassai, 1931…… of whom I have asked pardon….




Two Toughs in Big Albert’s Gang, 1931; ferrotyped gelatin silver print.  Brassai, French born Romania, 1899-1984.

Masterworks of French Photography, 1890-1950 at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Autumn 2016


Brassai staged this photograph of two toughs who filched his wallet although he had paid them for these photographic shots.  “Thievery for them,” he said and did not lodge a complaint “photographs for me.”

Photos could not be taken of this photograph given the placement of lights without a major disruption of this gallery.


So I settled for a selfie for which Brassai would have forgiven me, I hope, even if the shorter of the two men is skeptical of what I am doing.

But then the great photographer placed the opportunity of a photograph before even the insult of a theft of his wallet.









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