Rare jump shots of famous people by the inventor of the jump shot

Long before jump shots were popular, Philippe Halsman asked celebrities like Marilyn Monroe to pose in mid-air

by Mio Borromeo

Long before jump shots were popular, Philippe Halsman was asking celebrities like Marilyn Monroe to Jerry Lewis to pose in mid-air

Halsman_13

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, 1951. Image courtesy of Philippe Halsman Archive / Magnum Photos.

Philippe Halsman, a French photographer active in the mid-20th century, has shot many of the most recognizable names in arts high and low. Working with publications like Vogue and Life, Halsman took photos of artists and celebrities like Marc Chagall, Le Corbusier, and Audrey Hepburn. It’s even known that one of Halsman’s closest collaborators for over 30 years was the surrealist Salvador Dali.

Halsman is, however, more than just a celebrity photographer. Experimenting with the boundaries of psychological portraiture, Halsman developed “jumpology”, a practice that consisted in taking photos of famous people jumping in order to capture them in a natural and spontaneous light. In 1959, Halsman collected the results of this project into a book, including over 170 unexpected playful portraits of celebrities.

Halsman is being honored with a retrospective in the Jeu de Palme (1, Place de la Concorde, Paris 8e; www.jeudepaume.org) that opened in October of last year. The exhibit, which includes some 300 exclusive images of Halsman’s work, is expected to close on January 24.

Halsman_11

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, 1956. Image courtesy of Philippe Halsman Archive / Magnum Photos.

Halsman_16

Marilyn Monroe, 1959. Image courtesy of Philippe Halsman Archive / Magnum Photos.

Halsman_14

Marilyn Monroe and Philippe Halsman, 1959. Image courtesy of Philippe Halsman Archive / Magnum Photos.

Halsman_17

Dali Atomicus, 1948. Image courtesy of Philippe Halsman Archive / Magnum Photos.