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© David S. Shields

Photographers for Ziegfeld #9: Victor Georg_david Jun 29, '09 6:35 PM
by david for group historicalziegfeldgroup #112

Though Florenz Ziegfeld prided himself on the ability to spot new talent, he was in no way averse to making use of talents discovered by other persons. He would raid a Shubert brothers show or rival George White's Scandals with little compunction. When it came to photographers, he counted the ability to place images in national "slick paper" magazines a decided plus.

When midwesterner Victor Georg became the darling of the NY editors for his opera singer portraits in the mid-1910s, Ziegfeld brought performers by Georg's Chicago studio for sittings, then urged the artist to relocate in New York City. He was 30 when he made the move. Georg arrived in New York with commissions from Vanity Fair in hand and quickly installed himself in the front rank of performing arts photographers.

Trained in camera art by his father, Victor Georg, a camera savant, photographic inventor, and official photographer of the state of Illinois, young Victor embraced the new electrical spot lights for studio work, and owned as wide a range of cameras as any professional in New York. He was also an expert retoucher, and had no qualms about extreme interventions when sitters were uncomely. He loved to portray women in finery, and scheduled long sittings so that subjects would relax and grow spontaneous in their posing. Georg's combination of social grace and technical ability brought him to the attention of the New York Times who hired him as editor of their mid-week pictorial magazine.

He remained active in New York until his lack of ability with color printing caused his dismissal. At the end of the decade he removed to St. Louis. Ziegfeld's employment of Georg dates from 1915 and continued to 1921.


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