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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Nina Leen

Dates:  1914 - 1995
Born:  Russia
Died:  US, NY, New York City
Active:  US
 
  
Photographer for LIFE magazine with a particular fondness for essays relating to American youth and animals.

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“Some pictures look posed that are not posed”
 
Nina Leen was one of the first women photographers for LIFE. She was born in Russia but grew up in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. She always wanted to be a photographer and her first camera, bought in Europe while she was still an amateur, was a Rolliflex that she continued to use throughout her assignments for LIFE. She is best known for her many pictures of animals, which grew from her fondness of them.
 
During her early years on the magazine, Nina Leen did a number of memorable stories about teenagers. As an expert observer of the manners and mores of her new country, her reactions to American youth were particularly acute. She photographed many fashion stories for LIFE and was a perceptive interpreter of “way of current life” stories.
 
Leen covered a wide variety of stories during her career. She is best known for her continuing story of a dog named Lucky which she adopted after it was found on a highway near death, and her famous 1950 photograph of the group of Abstract Expressionists, “The Irascibles”.
 
Leen published 15 books including Women, Heroes and a Frog; Love, Sunrise and Elevated Apes; and The World of Bats, an unprecedented photographic study in the behavior of bats.
 
[Contributed by the Alan Klotz Gallery, October 2007] 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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