Herbert Gehr

1911 - 1983

Herbert Gehr was a Jewish American photographer and television director who was associated with Life magazine.
In the Spanish Civil War Gehr worked as a stills photographer before travelling to Egypt at the wars commencement where he shot newsreels for Wide World photos. With the advent of Nazism in his native Germany, Gehr moved to the United States in March 1937. Upon arrival in the United States, Gehr found representation with the Black Star photo agency, and began working for Life magazine in 1938, photographing a large variety of subjects and stories for them over the next few years. By 1940 Gehr had been described as having shot such diverse subjects as "sphinxes, hair ribbons, wars and movie stars" for the magazine.
Gehr's photographic style was renowned for his use of artificial light. Gehr once used twenty assistants to illuminate six blocks of Manhattan's Meatpacking District with flash bulbs, and in a photograph of the Great Sphinx of Giza taken for Life in 1938, he used the headlights of three cars to illuminate the scene, with an exposure time of three hours. Gehr left Life in 1950 and became a television director for ABC.
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