Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University

DAC Collection Artist Information

Weegee, aka Arthur Fellig

American photographer, born in Poland, active in New York City and Hollywood

Brief biography, in most instances from the Union List of Artist Names® Online:
Arthur Fellig, known as Weegee professionally, is noted for his photographs depicting crime and other newsworthy events, usually taken at night. His early career was spent as a freelance press photographer. He prided himself on his ability to arrive at the scene of a crime before the police, and derived his name from the phonetic pronunciation of the Ouija board. He sold his images to tabloid newspapers from 1935 through the 1940s, and published his first book, Naked City in 1945, followed by Weegee's People in 1946. Naked City was a commercial success and guaranteed his income. At this point he began taking portraits of celebrities and figures in the entertainment industry. He used a variety of trick lenses to distort and manipulate these images, and often exposed or exagerrated the imperfections of his subjects. He experimented with infrared film and flash to make exposures in darkness, particularly of people in darkened movie theaters. Weegee used a 4x5 Speed Graphic press camera and flash exclusively throughout his career; and is not known for his printing virtuosity, but for the elements of social critique in his photographs. He was a flamboyant character, and revelled in his own notoriety and mythology.

Artist ID number in the Union List of Artist Names®: ULAN 500032312.
The ULAN link above leads to a cataloging authority record at the Getty Research Institute.

Objects related to Weegee, aka Arthur Fellig:

Weegee The Critic, 1943 Gelatin silver print
http://dac-collection.wesleyan.edu/art37991 is a persistent link to this page with no user-session information.

ULAN biographical content is displayed with permission of the Getty Research Institute. Some ULAN content in some DAC artist records has been lightly edited. Content from the Getty Research Institute is © 2017 The J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

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