Exhibition at the Fujifilm Square Photo History Museum
Realms of Color: The Creation by Ernst Haas

Please note that this exhibition closed on Friday, May 31, 2019

The Photo History Museum at Fujifilm Square is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Ernst Haas, a pioneer of color photography and one of the world's most influential photographers. The exhibition runs from Friday, March 1 to Friday, May 31, 2019.

Described as “a magician with color,” the photographer Ernst Haas pioneered color photography as a means of expression in the 1950s. Born in 1921 in Vienna, Haas photographed Austrian prisoners of war returning home in 1947. These photographs caught the eye of Robert Capa who invited Haas to join Magnum Photos, the cooperative of photographers, which had been formed not long before. In the early days, Haas worked with black and white documentary photography, but in 1949, he started to experiment with the relatively newly developed color film, shooting a series of color photographs in New York. At the time, the sensitivity of color film was extremely low and it lacked freedom of expression, but Haas developed ingenious techniques to take advantage of its characteristics. When his first color photo essay was featured in Life magazine in 1953, photographers around the world were impressed and encouraged by the otherworldly vibrancy of the colors in his photographs. Subsequently, Haas published a succession of creative and richly poetic works on themes ranging from the streets of Venice to bullfighting in Spain. In 1962, Ernst Haas became the first photographer to mount a solo exhibition of color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The present exhibition features twenty-one valuable dye transfer prints* of images specially selected from The Creation, Ernst Haas's masterpiece, published as a photographic book in 1971. The theme for The Creation is the Christian story of the creation of heaven and earth described at the start of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. A beautiful and dynamic rhapsody on the grand story—from the birth of the planet, the arrival of the four seasons, and the emergence of organic life—this famous work has made a significant mark on the history of photography. Expressed in colors that are both vivid and delicate, the photographs superimpose the majestic world of the creation of heaven and earth on natural forms, giving us a sense of Haas's unique ideas and perspectives. These works explore the true meaning of color photography—something we have come to take for granted. This is definitely the realm of color—a realm that has not faded in the twenty-first century and one that is unlikely to fade in the future.

We hope you will enjoy the world of Ernst Haas, the exceptional photographer who broke new ground for color in photographic expression.

* Color prints produced by separating color photographs into three colors (yellow, magenta, and cyan) and transferring the dyes. They are distinguished by depth of color and full expression of gradation. Since 1995 the technique has gradually been disappearing because the process is complicated, the work requires a high degree of skill, and the cost is high.

Profile of Ernst Haas (1921—1986)

Ernst Haas was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1921. He caught the attention of Robert Capa in 1949 when his photographs of homecoming prisoners of war were published in Life magazine. In the same year, Haas joined the Magnum Photos, cooperative of photographers, where he became a close associate of Capa, Werner Bischof, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1951, Haas moved to the United States, and in 1953, he published his first color photo essay in Life magazine. In 1962, he mounted the first solo exhibition of color photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Later, he photographed Venice, Germany, Asia, and many other places around the world for Life, Vogue, and Look magazines. Ernst Haas died of a stroke in New York in 1986 at age sixty-five. Ernst Haas was the winner of the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 1986. His most important publications are The Creation (1971), In America (1975), In Germany (1976), and Himalayan Pilgrimage (1978).

Title Exhibition at the Fujifilm Square Photo History Museum
Realms of Color: The Creation by Ernst Haas
Period March 1 — May 31, 2019.
Open every day from 10:00 to 19:00 (last admission 18:50)
Number of works 21 works
Venue The Photo History Museum at FUJIFILM SQUARE (Tokyo Midtown West)
Admission Free
Organized by FUJIFILM Corporation
In special cooperation with Pacific Press Service
In cooperation with The Ernst Haas Estate
Department of Photography, College of Art, Nihon University
Planning by Photo Classic

<Events during the exhibition>

Gallery talk by Yuki Osawa, Curator, Photo Classic, on ‘The Creation’ and the highlight of the exhibition.

Date Sat. March 30, 2019   14:00— /16:00—
Sat. April 20, 2019   14:00— /16:00—
Venue The Photo History Museum at FUJIFILM SQUARE
Admission Free
* No registration required
* No seats available

Gallery talk by Norihide Takahashi, Professor, Department of Photography, College of Art, Nihon University, on Ernst Haas the person and his photographs.

Date Sat. May 11, 2019   14:00— /16:00—
Venue The Photo History Museum at FUJIFILM SQUARE
Admission Free
* No registration required
* No seats available

  • In 1991, the Association for Corporate Support of the Arts founded these awards, which recognize highly beneficial projects by corporations and corporate foundations for the support of the arts, with the aim of encouraging corporate patronage of artistic projects and increasing public interest in these activities.
  • The awardees are decided on the basis of an evaluation that covers the company's ingenuity and making use of its managerial resources, the involvement of the company in the arts, culture and the wider community, the company's attitude to continuing and expanding the activities, and the activities' degree of importance in contributing to the arts and wider culture.
  • This year's awards, entitled “This is MECENAT 2018”, attracted 152 entrants. A town of third-party experts selected a total of seven awards, namely, the Grand Mécénat Award, five Awards for excellence and the Award Granted by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs.

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