Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs, ca. 1930-2002
Color transparencies : gelatin dye film sheets, max. 8" x 10"
Black-and-white negatives : silver gelatin film sheets, 35mm to 4" x 5"
Black-and-white prints : silver gelatin paper sheets, max. 11" x 14"
Color enlargements : paper sheets, max.41" x 72", dye in gelatin, mounted on Masonite, Type C
Color enlargements : dye in gelatin, mounted on Masonite, Cibachrome
Color negatives : gelatin dye on film sheets, max. 8" x 10"
11 cu. ft.: 21 boxes
Color prints (photographs)
Type C color prints
Dye destruction process
Silver-dye bleach process
Dye destruction photoprints
D'Arazien was one of the leading industrial photographers of the mid-twentieth century. He began his photographic career as an assistant to a famous theatrical photographer, documenting Broadway shows. Dramatic theatrical lighting heavily influenced his later work. Taught aerial photography for the Air Force during World War II, and began career in industrial photography with the De Laval Separator Company, New York City. His energy and creativity led to assignments considered too difficult for other photographers. His growing reputation kept pace with the dynamic growth of the industrial and technological activities he photographed, 1950s-1980s.
He developed special techniques to obtain the grand, sweeping views that became his trademark, including multiple exposures, dramatic or elaborate lighting, with assistants communicating by radio, complex arrangements, while acting as a producer and impresario as much as photographer. A skilled painter and metal sculptor as well as photographer, d'Arazien came from a family of artists. His photographs, made primarily on commercial assignments, have been exhibited and collected by art museums. He died in 2002.
Series 1 : Professional industrial photographs. Photographs document primarily American business and industry (including some taken in Canada). Black-and-white negatives with prints from these negatives, also color negative and transparency materials. Most transparencies are 8" x 10". The photographs demonstrate the photographer's reputation as a master of dramatic lighting and the coordination of large-scale, complex industrial setups in factories, steel mills, and even outdoor settings. Also 65 color prints, mostly Type C with a few Cibachromes, made from the original transparencies for exhibition purposes, mostly wet-mounted to Masonite. Black-and-white photographs include pictures of d'Arazien at work--some by Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Series 2 : D'Arazien's files of printed materials, some of which include photomechanical reproductions of his work, indicating how the photographs were used by clients; also annual reports, magazine tearsheets from advertising and editorial uses, and other promotional items, in addition to biographical materials.
2007 addendum: Transparencies, slides, prints and negatives of additional photographs by Arthur d'Arazien, including industrial subjects as well as travel, architectural, agricultural, portrait, art, still life and personal photographs. Also included are miscellaneous papers, mostly relating to d'Arazien's photographic work.
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs, ca. 1930-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Steel industry and trade
1991.3059 (NMAH Acc.)
Pending (NMAH Acc.)
Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270