Karl Struss

Creator Details

  • Birth

    Nov. 30, 1886 (New York, New York)

  • Death

    Dec. 16, 1981 (Los Angeles, California)

Karl Struss started his career as a successful pictorialist photographer. In 1909, he invented the soft-focus Struss Pictorial Lens, which proved immensely popular with other photographers of the era. Alfred Stieglitz selected his work for the 1910 International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography and then published a portfolio in Camera Work. In 1914, Struss took over the photography studio of his former teacher, Clarence H. White, where he specialized in portraiture, advertising, and magazine illustration. Five years later he moved to Hollywood and started a new phase of his career as a cinematographer, filming movies such as Ben Hur (1925) and Sunrise (1927), for which he received the first Academy Award for cinematography.

The Carter holds over 2,000 prints and 5,000 negatives by Struss, as well as the Karl Struss Papers.


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