Philippe Halsman





My father was a dentist, and my mother gave up her profession as a teacher when I was born. This event, so important for me, happened on May 2, 1906, in Riga, Latvia. Riga was a highly civilized old city of 300,000 inhabitants. It had museums, an opera, three repertory theaters, and a ballet. It was in Riga that the philosopher Immanuel Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason.
I had only one sister, Liouba, a few years younger than I, and we were very close. Our summer vacations were spent with our parents in Europe. Before I was eighteen, thanks to these travels, I was familiar with most of the important museums in Europe – where I was particularly affected by the portraits.
I caught the photography virus at the age of fifteen, when I discovered an old view-camera in our attic. My father had acquired the camera to use in his spare time, but had eventually stored it away. With my allowance money I bought myself a book which explained that I had to buy glass plates because at that time there was no film being used in Europe. I bought a dozen and photographed my sister near the window. I developed the first plate in our bathroom by the light of a ruby-red bulb. It was one of the most magical moments of my life. In the dim red light I watched, wide-eyed, a miracle: the gradual appearance of dark outlines on the milky surface of my plate – forming the first photographic image I had ever taken.
From then on, most of my pocket money went into my new hobby. I became the family photographer. On our trips it was I who took the usual kind of travel photos. But mostly I photographed my friends, my girlfriends, and the girlfriends of my friends. It was their faces that I tried to portray. Now, thinking back, I find it symptomatic. This fascination with the human face has never left me. Every face I see seems to hide – and sometimes fleetingly to reveal – the mystery of another human being. Later, capturing this revelation became the goal and the passion of my life. I became a collector of the reflections of the innermost self of the people who faced my camera.
I led a protected life. In Riga, school pupils were simultaneously taught five languages: Lettish, Russian, German, French, and Latin. I was at the head of the class and also its president in the last three school years. My father wanted me to study medicine, but I thought that electrical engineering was the great profession of the future. At eighteen I had finished school and went to study engineering in Dresden, Germany.
A couple of years later, my sister, who had gone to Paris to study art, fell in love with a young Frenchman. I went to their wedding in Paris. At that time, this vibrant city was indisputably the world capital of the arts, and it made such an impression on me that I decided to continue my studies there.
I was more interested in art and literature than my fellow students were. In comparison, mechanics and technique seemed dry to me. I had successfully passed my exams, but unlike most of my colleagues I could not repair a motor or a watch. More and more my thoughts turned to photography. I felt the urge to take pictures, to experiment, to create. Photography seemed to me still unexplored, an art at the very beginning of its growth.
Since I considered the human face the most interesting subject to photograph, I hoped I could explore it the way my favorite writers, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, had explored human nature, with psychological depth and honesty. I looked at photographs which were then fashionable in Paris and I did not like them. They were diffused, pretentious and arty. I saw myself fighting this trend. I wanted to show that photography could be realistic, strong, simple, and very sharp. And I decided there was a place for me. I announced to my mother my decision to abandon my studies and become a photographer. This made her very unhappy. My professor of mathematics told me, “Halsman, in a few months you can have your engineering degree and you want to become…a photographer!”


But I had made up my mind. I was a very stubborn young man, and I believed at the time that all my decisions were extremely intelligent and correct. I bought myself a photoflood lamp, a used enlarger, and announced to my friends that I had become a professional photographer. I worked and experimented with this one light for months in an effort to explore all its possibilities – how the light in different positions affected the mood and feeling of the picture, and seemingly changed the features of the sitter. Through this kind of experimentation I gained a basic understanding that has remained with me all my life.
Like most students in Paris I lived in a small hotel on the Left Bank, not far from the Sorbonne. One day, a young Frenchman who lived in the same hotel approached me. His name was Claude Delacroix, and he had left his job in a provincial town in order to become a film actor in Paris. Delacroix needed a portfolio of photographs to introduce himself to the film studios.
I brought Delacroix to my married sister’s living room. It had a white wall that I could use as a background. My entire equipment consisted of my old view camera on a tripod and the simple floodlight. Experimenting with this light during the session I realized with great clarity that lighting was not just illumination — but that it could also be a powerful means of characterization. I remember using one light in a high position, and photographing him as the farmer sunning himself. For another picture I used my light behind him to produce a rim lighting, and Delacroix looked pensive and dramatic, like an inspired poet. In a third picture, my light was shining from below into his face, showing him as a mixture of Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster.
Delacroix loved my pictures and ordered them all. On the strength of these photographs he got his first part in the movies, and I still treasure the recollection of how happy and how touchingly grateful he was. As for me – for the first time I had the proud feeling of the photographer’s power to sometimes influence or to change a life.
Then came the great moment, about four months later, when I decided to buy myself a second light. This was a very important step for me because with two lights I learned I could produce an infinite amount of lightings. The lens in my camera was an old unsharp Aplanate. I had now earned enough to buy a sharp Zeiss Tessar, and the sharpness of my photographs became one of the main characteristics of my work.
There was nobody in Paris from whom I could learn what else I needed, and so I had to find everything by experimentation and by teaching myself. I continued my exploration in the darkroom. I understood that the creative process continues with every step. For me, each portrait is a statement about my subject. I feel that my photograph, from the inception to the finished print, has to be conceived and controlled by me. Photographic technique made it possible for me to make this statement not weakly or haphazardly, but with utmost force and clarity.


It was not easy to work and live in a tiny hotel room, and after a year I found a studio in the heart of Montparnasse, which in the 1930s was the artistic center of Paris. The studio, on Rue Delambre, consisted of a large room and a kitchen which I transformed into a darkroom. It was modest, but it had the glamour of being very close to the famous Café du Dome. I bought myself a large display case which I put on the wall of my building for people to see. It held four or five photographs, which I changed every week. Soon people even began to make a detour to see and discuss my latest work.
I now had a small number of photographs of which I was rather proud, but none of them was of a famous person. Since I had been interested in literature for a long time, I decided to photograph the writers whom I admired. I approached Andre Gide, the greatest living French writer of that time, and asked whether I could do his portrait. He agreed, and with my camera and two floodlights I went to Gide’s apartment in the Rue Vaneau. And it was during this portrait session with Andre Gide that I made for me a very important discovery. He was very much interested in having a good portrait of himself, and when I went to his home to photograph him he threw himself into a very picturesque pose. I found the best angle to shoot this pose, and arranged my lighting. When it was right, I closed the shutter, took away the ground glass, put my film holder in the camera, removed the film holder slide, and cocked the shutter. But during these few seconds the tension in Gide became unbearable, and just before I shot the picture he changed the pose. This happened over and over again, and I finally realized that the three seconds which preceded the taking of the pictures had to be reduced to zero; that if the photographer is really interested in capturing the most important moment, the decisive moment, he has to be able to shoot instantaneously when the moment appears. I spent a sleepless night and the next morning I designed a gadget which could cut these endless seconds in half.
I used this gadget for more than a year, and it inspired me to begin the design of a new twin-lens reflex camera that would also produce larger (9×12 cm) negatives, thereby enabling me to achieve the degree of technical perfection I wanted for my portraits. Although I quickly ran into optical difficulties, my technical background and my knowledge of optics proved to be helpful. I found an old cabinetmaker, the grandson of the cabinetmaker who made the first camera for Daguerre. With delicate craftsmanship he implemented my design using the finest mahogany wood. I now had an extremely useful tool with two matched 210mm Tessar lenses, a tool that to my knowledge nobody else possessed. It influenced the entire style of my portraiture. Instead of standing beside the camera, a spectator looking at a subject, I was now looking at the sitter through the camera. To meet my eye the sitter had to look at the lens. As a result, I started to get pictures capturing not vacuous expressions of people staring at a glass lens, but expressions showing the full impact of a personality.
I began to become better known. Actors and writers sought me out. Magazines such as Voila, Vu, and Vogue asked me to work for them. I participated in photographic exhibits. In a review about such an exhibit, I read: “Philippe Halsman has become probably the best portraitist we have now in France.” This remark had a curious influence on me. Of course, it flattered me, but it killed forever my uncomplicated carefree attitude toward my own photographs. I felt a new responsibility. Looking at my photographs I worried: Are they really worthy of “probably the best portraitist in France”? Previously in portrait sittings I shot from two to possibly twelve plates for a particularly interesting or difficult subject. After the review, my plate consumption doubled and tripled.
Possibly because of this review, a young French girl appeared one day and timidly asked whether she could become my apprentice. After a year of work in my studio, Yvonne became an independent photographer, and two years later we were married. Very often in jest I advise young photographers that the best way to get rid of a competitor is to marry him or her.
A year later, a little girl was born to us. We named her Irene, which literally means “peace.” But then World War II started, and with it German air raids in France. At that time, my sister and her children were leaving for the United States, and I sent my wife and our daughter with them. Two weeks later Paris fell and, with a million other Parisians, I was in my car and on the roads of southern France. All I had taken with me were some clothes, my Halsman camera, and a dozen photographic prints. Eventually I reached Marseilles and saw the American consul there. He informed me that I could not go to American since I had a Latvian passport and the Latvian immigration quota (eighteen people per year) was filled for the next seven years. I was desperate because I knew that Yvonnne’s money was about to run out and that she could not work because we were expecting our second child, Jane. My sister and my wife, however, visited Professor Albert Einstein, with whom I had exchanged letters ten years previously. They asked him what he could do to help, and on Professor Einstein’s intervention, my name was added to the list of writers and artists in Europe who were given visas by the Emergency Rescue Committee, organized by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.


I arrived on November 10, 1940, and a very difficult time began for me. I was known in France, but almost nobody in America had heard of me. I spoke five languages, but I had almost no knowledge of English. I had no friends and almost no money. I spent the first three months trying to find work. Finally I signed a two-year contract with Black Star, the photo agency, which sent me off to shoot a variety of subjects, including the circus and many parades. During this period I had to learn the technique of multiple flash, which was then unknown in Europe. We four lived in a boardinghouse, crowded into a single room, but even so my weekly advance was not enough for two adults and two babies. Finally, after about ten months of hard work, I realized that I could not count on Black Star to find me enough assignments, so I tried to look for clients myself.
One day in a model agency I was struck by the profile of a young girl. For me it symbolized everything that I liked in America: the youth, the beauty, and the strength of this new country. The girl’s name was Connie Ford; she was eighteen, just starting to model, and she was delighted to pose in exchange for the photographs I would take of her. I decided to make a photograph which I could call “The American Profile.” I bought myself an American flag made of paper. My lighting consisted of two ordinary floodlights. When Connie came to our furnished room I put the flag on the floor, and she lay down with her head on it. Every ten minutes my telephone rang. It was Connie’s mother, making sure that nothing happened to her daughter. She distrusted photographers from France who worked in furnished rooms.
Connie liked the picture and put it into her portfolio. Months later, she showed her album to the beauty products tycoon Elizabeth Arden, who decided on the spot that this was the picture she was looking for to advertise her “Victory Red” lipstick. The country was swept with advertisements and posters showing my picture of Connie’s head on the flag, and Connie Ford became famous overnight. This was my first real breakthrough in America. The photograph won the Art Directors Club Medal and opened many doors for me.
A fashion story on ladies’ hats led to my first cover for LIFE magazine. At that time the highest achievement for a magazine photographer was to make the cover of LIFE. It was tantamount to winning a contest because each week the cover was chosen from among dozens of photographs of different subjects. My second LIFE assignment also resulted in a cover. From then on, LIFE started to use me frequently on various assignments, most particularly when they hoped for an interesting cover. I ultimately made 101 LIFE covers, a record that remains one of my proudest accomplishments.
I was becoming a very busy photographer. My life was always interesting because I never avoided a challenge or an opportunity to test myself in a new situation. Sometimes these assignments involved the technique of photographing ideas, which is something that has always fascinated me. When I met Salvador Dali in the early 1940s, I was able to expand in this area because of his own similar approach in his paintings. Our first set of pictures together started a friendship between us that resulted in a stream of unusual photographs.
Work in various fields of photography has permitted me to return to portraiture with new ideas, with fresh enthusiasm, and with even deeper understanding of portraiture’s main challenges. It is important to remember that a portrait sitting is an extremely artificial situation. Very few people are able to lose their self-consciousness immediately and behave in front of the camera as though it were not there. In almost all cases the photographer has to help the subject reveal himself. In many sittings I have felt that what I said to the subject was more important than what I did with my camera and my lights.
My great interest in life has been people. A human being changes continuously throughout life. His thoughts and moods change, his expressions and even his features change. And here we come to the crucial problem of portraiture. If the likeness of a human being consists of an infinite number of different images, which one of these images should we try to capture? For me, the answer has always been, the image which reveals most completely both the exterior and the interior of the subject.
Such a picture is called a portrait. A true portrait should, today and a hundred years from today, be the testimony of how this person looked and what kind of human being he was.

(Courtesy of the Halsman archive)


1906  Philippe Halsman born May 2 in Riga, Latvia, the son of Max Halsman, a dentist, and Ita Grintuch, principal of a grammar school.
1910  Birth of sister, Liouba.
1921  Discovers his father’s old view camera and begins photographing family and friends. PH experiences his first “miracle” as he develops the glass plates in the bathroom sink.
1924  Graduates high school (Vacu Vidus Skola, Riga, Latvia) first in his class, having studied Latin, French, German, and Russian. Enrolls at Technische Hochschule in Dresden, Germany, to study electrical engineering.
1928-30  In 1928, Philippe Halsman, then a 22-year-old engineering student, traveled with his family to the Tyrolean Alps near Innsbruck, Austria. This tourist spot had become a center of the Heimwehr movement, a thinly disguised network for Fascist activity.That September, Philippe and his family came into tragic conflict with its overt anti-Semitism and growing power. While father and son were hiking, Max Halsman lingered behind. As Philippe ran ahead to hold the little funicular train down the mountain, Max fell, was robbed and killed. A rash of unsolved crimes in the area and its rife anti-Semitism further empowered local officials, who, without a shred of evidence or motive, quickly accused, tried and convicted Philippe Halsman of his beloved father’s death. Philippe served 2 years in prison, while his sister Liouba drew international attention to his case. Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud and many other important intellectuals and scientists endorsed his innocence. In the autumn of 1930, Liouba brokered an agreement between Paul Painleve’, the Prime Minister of France, and Johann Schober, the Chancellor of Austria, and finally won Philippe’s release. After a long convalescence from the tuberculosis he had contracted in prison, he rejoined his mother, his sister and her new husband, Rene’ Golschmann, in Paris.
1930  Continues his studies at Université de Paris (Faculté des Sciences).
1930-40  Continues to live and work in Paris as a photographer. His work appears in Vogue, VU, and Voila, and he opens a portrait studio and darkroom at 22 Rue Delambre in Montparnasse. Makes portraits of Andre Malraux, Paul Valery, Jean Painleve, Marc Chagall, Andre Gide, Jean Giraudoux, Le Corbusier.
1934  Maria Eisner, founder of Alliance Photo (who later helps organize Magnum Photos), introduces PH to twenty-two year old Yvonne Moser, a young photographer who goes to work as his apprentice.
1936  Designs a 9 x 12 cm twin-lens reflex camera and has it built by a cabinetmaker whose grandfather (Alphonse Giroux) built the first camera for Daguerre. First major exhibit: Galerie de la Pleiade, 73 Boulevard Saint-Michel. PH’s work is included in an exhibit entitled “Photographie Contemporaine” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
1937  Marries Yvonne Moser, now an established children’s photographer and on the staff at Votre Bonheur, a small weekly. They move into a larger studio at 350 Rue St, Honore.
1939  Birth of first daughter, Irene, in Paris. Collaborates with Jean Painleve on the play, “Le Jeu du Surhomme.”
1940  May: Yvonne and infant Irene, along with Philippe’s mother, Ita, his sister, Liouba, and her two young daughters, leave Bordeaux for the United States on a freighter just before the fall of France. November: PH, who holds a Latvian passport, finally obtains an emergency visa to the United States through the intervention of Albert Einstein. With the help of the Emergency Rescue Committee, he arrives in New York City on a refugee ship from Lisbon, carrying with him one suitcase with his camera and a dozen prints.
1941  Birth of second daughter, Jane, in New York. Meets Salvador Dali; their thirty-seven year collaboration begins.
1941-42  Accepts fashion and magazine assignments from Black Star agency in New York. “Victory Red” campaign for Elizabeth Arden.
1942  First LIFE cover (10/5/42) Yvonne continues what has become her life’s work alongside Philippe as a photographic and darkroom assistant.
1943  Moves to an artists’ studio building on West Sixty-Seventh Street in Manhattan, where he lives and works for the rest of his life. Liouba becomes the studio’s full-time office-manager; she continues in this role until 1973, when she and Rene retire to the Virginia countryside.
1944  Travels to California and photographs his first Hollywood assignments for LIFE, including Bogart, Bacall, Sinatra, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Judy Garland. Produces seven LIFE covers this year, including a major story on American fashion designers.
1945  Elected the first president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP).
Azzielean Roberts, a young woman from Texas, joins the studio as housekeeper and permanent Girl Friday.
1946  Extensive photographic coverage of Martha Graham and her dance company in performance.
1947  Photographs Albert Einstein in Princeton. Designs an improved version of his twin-lens reflex camera in 4×5 format. Three prototypes, known as the Halsman-Fairchild, are manufactured. PH continues to use this camera for portraits throughout his career. Medea, directed by John Gielgud, is the first of thirty-seven Broadway plays and musicals PH is assigned to photograph for LIFE over the next twenty-two years.
1948  Becomes a U.S. citizen. Makes the photograph “Dali Atomicus.” Travels throughout the Southwest on multiple assignments. Photographs Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiu.
1949  Publishes The Frenchman (Simon & Schuster), a book of photographs of Fernandel, the French film star. It becomes a New York Times bestseller.
Attends Einstein’s seventieth birthday celebration; photographs Einstein with refugee children.
1950  Death of Ita, PH’s mother, who had been living nearby with Liouba and her family.
1951  Fiftieth LIFE cover: Gina Lollobrigida (9/3/51).Returns to Europe for the first time; Photographs Chagall, Churchill, Matisse, Sartre, Bardot, Magnani, and others. David Seymour (“Chim”), one of the founders of Magnum Photos, asks PH to become a contributing member of the legendary photo agency. PH agrees to let Magnum distribute his work in Europe.
1952  Marilyn Monroe LIFE cover (4/7/52).
1953  Publishes “Piccoli, A Fairy Tale” (Simon & Schuster), written for his daughters. LIFE runs an excerpt in its 12/7/53 issue. Portrait of Winston Churchill appears on the cover of LIFE (11/2/53) as well as on the jacket of Churchill’s war memoirs.
1954  Publishes “Dali’s Mustache” (Simon & Schuster): 30 surreal images of his artist friend.
1955  Seventy-fifth LIFE cover: Audrey Hepburn (7/18/55)
1956  Sent around the world by LIFE to select and photograph the most beautiful women in seventeen countries.
1958  Chosen one of the “World’s Ten Greatest Photographers” in an international poll conducted by Popular Photography magazine.
1958-59  Photographs leading writers, philosophers, and scientists who contribute articles for the long-running series “Adventures of the Mind” for Saturday Evening Post.
1959  Publishes “Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book” (Simon & Schuster). More than 200 illustrious subjects from the period 1950-59 jump for him. In a cover story, LIFE devotes eight pages to the book (11/9/59). Appears on the CBS-TV program Person to Person. Interview takes place at the Halsman studio and apartment on West Sixty-seventh Street.
1960  Sent to Russia by LIFE to photograph Russia’s leading artists, writers, dancers, and politicians. Collaborates with Salvador Dali on “Chaos & Creation”, the first performance art piece shot on video.
1961  Publishes “Philippe Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas” (Ziff-Davis). Photographs “New Frontier” story for LOOK: President John F. Kennedy and his entourage.
1962  Joins with Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and six others to form the Famous Photographers School. Documents historic weeklong interview between Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut in Los Angeles, later published as “Hitchcock/Truffaut”.
1963  Major exhibit at Smithsonian Photography Gallery, Washington, D.C. Receives the Newhouse Citation for journalistic achievement from Syracuse University School of Journalism.
1966  First of two extended photographic visits with Vladimir Nabokov in Montreux, Switzerland. Photograph of Albert Einstein used on United States postage stamp.
1968  Marriage of daughter Jane to Steve Bello.
1969  Makes official portrait of president Richard M. Nixon.
1970  One hundredth LIFE cover: Johnny Carson (1/23/70). With a total of 101, PH has more LIFE covers to his credit than any other photographer.
1971  Begins teaching “Psychological Portraiture” course at The New School, New York City. The class is held at West Sixty-seventh Street. PH continues to teach this course for the next five years.
1972  Publishes Sight and Insight (Doubleday). Birth of granddaughter Jennifer Sunshine Bello. LIFE ceases weekly publication after thirty-six years.
1973  Tokyo exhibit “Sight and Insight” organized and traveled throughout Japan by Orion Press.
1974  Photographs Alfered Hitchcock in Los Angeles: cover story for special issue of French Vogue.
1975  Recipient of the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP) Life Achievement in Photography Award. Birth of granddaughter Sophie Claire Bello. Birth of grandson Oliver Halsman Rosenberg to Irene Halsman Rosenberg.
1976  Health begins to decline. PH sells his collection to collector George Rinhart. (Halsman family reacquires the collection from Rinhart in 1987).
1978  Makes the last portrait of his old friend Salvador Dali. Death of sister, Liouba.
1979  At the invitation of Cornell Capa, founder of the International Center of Photography in New York, PH and Cornell curate and mount a comprehensive exhibition of his work, which then travels through out the United States for the next eight years. Dies June 25th in New York City.

AWARDS | Recognitions

1999  Grateful Appreciation Medallion, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian
1991  In Quest of Dali, 70th Annual Merit Award, Art Directors Club, New York
1984  Honored Photographer, International Center of Photography, 10th anniversary celebration
1975  The Photographic Administrators Award for Outstanding Contributions to Photographic Education; Life Achievement in Photography Award, American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP)
1970 100th LIFE cover
1969  Certificate of Merit, Art Directors Club of New York, 49th Annual Exhibition
1967  The Golden Plate, American Academy of Achievement
1964/1965  Photographic Excellence Special Award, New York World’s Fair
1964  Certificate of Achievement, The Artists Guild of Philadelphia
1963  The Newhouse Citation for Significant Contributions to the Field of Visual Communication, Newhouse School of Journalism, Syracuse University;
Certificate of Gratitude and Appreciation, Photonika International Photo and Cinema Exhibition, Cologne
1961  Special Award in Recognition of Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Illustration, Society of Illustrators, New York
1958  One of the world’s Ten Greatest Photographers by vote of outstanding photographers, art directors, critics and teachers, according to Popular Photography international poll
1957  Award for Photography, Art Directors Club of Chicago, 25th Annual Exhibition
1954  “Certificate of Merit”, Professional Photographers of America, Inc. (Also 1961, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977); Award of Merit, 33rd Annual National Exhibition of Advertising and Editorial Art and Design, Art Directors Club, NY


2020  Dalí/Halsman, Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, Fukushima
  Astonish Me !, CaixaForum, Madrid
2016  Astonish Me !, CaixaForum, Barcelona
2016  Astonish Me !, Kunsthal, Rotterdam
2015  Astonish Me !, Jeu de Paume, Paris
2014  Astonish Me!, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne
2013  Jumping with Love, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Seoul
2011  Dali by Halsman, Fundacio Salvador Dali, Pubol
2010  Jump, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York
2007  Philippe Halsman: American Artists, Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey
2007  Halsman: Photographs from Paris in the 1930s, Riga, Latvia
2006  Philippe Halsman, Galerie Stephen Hoffman, Munich
2004  Halsman / Dali, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
2001  Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective, National Portrait Gallery, London
2001  Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective, Hotel de Sully, Paris
2000  Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective, Currier Gallery, Manchester, New Hampshire
1999  Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona
1998  Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
1993  Dali by Halsman, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida
1991  Dali’s Schnurrbart, Galerie zur Stockeregg, Zurich
1991  A New Look at Halsman: The LIFE Magazine Years 1940-50’s, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York
1989  Philippe Halsman, LIFE Gallery of Photography, New York
1989  Halsman Photographs Warhol, Nahan Gallery, New York
1986  Philippe Halsman: A Retrospective, Paine Webber Gallery, New York
1985  101 Covers of LIFE, Drew University, Madison, NJ
1985  Portraits, Galerie Zur Stockeregg, Zurich
1982  Philippe Halsman, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
1979  Philippe Halsman, Stephen White Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1980  The Un-Retouched Halsman, Neikrug Galleries, New York
1979  Halsman Retrospective, International Center of Photography, New York
1973  Sight and Insight, Tokyo
1963  Philippe Halsman, Smithsonian Photography Gallery, Washington DC
1962  The Elite of Russia, 49th International Salon of Photographic Art, Carnegie Institute Galleries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1936  Portraits et Nus, Galerie de la Pleiade, Paris


2017-2020  The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology.  Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX (International exhibition tour)
 Proof: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
2019  The Body Observed: Magnum Photographers, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich
2019  Israelites (curated by CLAIRbyKahn), Jewish Museum of Switzerland, Basel
Déclics Analoqiques, CLAIRbyKahn / Galerie Catherine Issert, Saint-Paul-de-Vence
2019 Portraits, Vichy Photography Festival
2015  On The Move (curated by CLAIRbyKahn), VDA Headquarters, Berlin
2014  Dali Up Close, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canada
 Les Ateliers de Dali, Fundacio Salvador Dali, Pubol
2012  Dali, Centre Pompidou, Paris
2012  Magnum Contact Sheets, ICP, New York
2012  Making Faces, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon
2011  Oeuvres Choisies, Magnum Gallery, Paris
2011  Beauty Culture, Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, California
2011  Picturing Marilyn, Milk Gallery, New York
2011  Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits, North Carolina University Art Museum, North Carolina
2011  Dali: The Late Work, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia
2010  Human Images of 20th Century, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography
2010  Past (Present) Future II, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York
2010  15 Minutes of Fame: Portraits from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol, Orange County Museum of Art, California
2010  Faces of our Times, Atlas Gallery, London
2010  Grace Kelly, Kurpfälzisches Museum, Heidelberg
2009  Le Paradis, ou Presque : Los Angeles (1865-2008), Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne
2009  New Acquisitions, MoMA, New York
2009  An Enduring Friendship: Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe, Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, California
2008  9 Decades of Fashion Photography, Camera Work, Berlin
2008  Unknown Halsman, Magnum Gallery, Paris
2008  Street & Studio, Tate Modern, London
2008  Famous People, Famous Photos, Galerie Sho Contemporary Art, Tokyo
2008  Old Masters, Galerie ‘t Fotokabinet, Amsterdam
2008  Magnum Photos: 60 years, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
2008  Dali: Painting and Film, MoMA, New York
2006  The Sexy Mediterranean, Duncan Miller Gallery, Los Angeles, California
2006  Marilyn, Staley-Wise Gallery, New York
2006  Marilyn – Legende, Mythos und Ikone, Kunsthaus, Hamburg
2006  Superstars – Das Prinzip Prominenz in der Kunst – Von Warhol bis Madonna, Kunsthalle Vienna
2005  64 Degrees of Separation, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana
2005  Looking at LIFE, Galerie Stephen Hoffman, Munich
2005  I Wanna Be Loved By You, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
2005  Sight and Insight: The Quest for Hidden Truth, ArteF, Zurich
2005  Dali Retrospective, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
2005  Made in the Shade, Pace/Macgill, New York
2004  Marilyn Monroe Photographs, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv
2004  Women of Our Time, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
2004  A Clear Vision, Haus der Photographie/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
2003  Jump! Photographers get off the ground, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes
2003  Dali und die Magier der Mehrdeutigkeit, Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf
2003  Photojournalism 1930-70: Recent Gifts to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
2003  Marilyn: Life of a Legend, County Hall Gallery, London
1999  Dali, Mitsukoshi Museum of Art, Tokyo
1999  Innovation/Imagination, Ansel Adams Center, San Francisco, California
1998  A Year in the World: 1968, Magnum Photographs, Newseum, New York
1995  Magnum Cinema, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
1995  Magnum Cinema, Royal Festival Hall, London
1994  Fashion, Galerie zur Stockeregg, Zurich
1993  100 Years of Broadway, ICP, New York
1992  Jean Cocteau, a Photo Biography, French Cultural Services, New York
1992  Les Annees 60, Salon du Livre et de la Presse, Geneva
1992  Hollywood: Identity Under the Guise of Celebrity, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
1989  Photo 89, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam
1989  LIFE: Through the Sixties, ICP, New York
1988  Flashback: The Fifties, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York
1985  Magnum Photographs from the Archives 1932-1967, Pace/MacGill, New York
1984  LIFE The Second Decade: 1946-1955, LIFE Gallery of Photography, New York
1983  Polaroid Photographs, Clarence Kennedy Gallery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
1980  Fleeting Gestures: Dance Photographs, ICP, New York
1979  LIFE: The First Decade 1936-1945, Grey Art Gallery, New York
1978  Photos from the Sam Wagstaff Collection, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
1978  Art About Art, Whitney Museum, New York
1977  Photography USA, United States Information Agency, Washington, DC
1967  Pre-Pop: Dali-Halsman, The Gallery of Modern Art, New York
1963  Photokina: International Photo and Cinema Exhibition, Cologne
1958  Photographs From the Museum Collection, selected by Edward Steichen, MoMA, New
1956  Women, The Overseas Press Club, New York
1951  Memorable LIFE Photographs, MoMA, New York
1948  Musicians, MoMA, New York
1937  La Parisienne de 1900 à 1937, Galerie de la Pleaide, Paris
1937  Portraits d’Ecrivains, Galerie de la Pleaide, Paris
1936  Photographie Contemporaine, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris



2014  Halsman: Astonish Me! (Éditions Photosynthèses, Arles & Musée de l´Élysée, Lausanne)
2008  Unknown Halsman, edited by Oliver Halsman Rosenberg, D.A.P. Inc.,
1998  Halsman, A Retrospective (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Co., Boston)
1983  Halsman, Portraits (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York)
1954  Dali’s Mustache: A Photographic Interview (1st ed. Simon & Schuster, New York; 2nd ed. Arthaud, Paris, 1982)
1953  Piccoli: A fairy tale (Simon & Schuster, New York)
1949  Philippe Halsman. The Frenchman (1st ed. Simon & Schuster, New York; 2nd ed. Taschen, Cologne, 2005)

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor Jump.