Moving Pictures: Karl Struss and the Rise of Hollywood

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An in-depth look at how one of the country’s most successful photographers became one of its most important cinematographers.

Moving Pictures examines the Hollywood career of Karl Struss (1886–1981), a pioneering artist of both still and moving images who reached the highest levels of success in both fields. It tells a multimedia story through photographs, films, and archival objects of how he transitioned from an acclaimed fine art photographer to a leading Hollywood cinematographer. In the 1920s, Struss transitioned to working more fully as a cinematographer, co-photographing movies such as Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927); over the course of his career, he worked with the great actors and directors of the age, including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Mae West, D.W. Griffith, and F.W. Murnau. Struss’s technological and artistic contributions to Sunrise in particular were revolutionary, and the work is still widely considered the pinnacle of silent film achievement. Fittingly, his work on Sunrise won Struss and co-photographer Charles Rosher the first Oscar ever awarded for Best Cinematography. This is the first monographic study of Struss in thirty years.


224 pages

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