Man Ray

Born 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died 1976, Paris, France


1904-09   Studies at the Brooklyn Boy's High School, which provides him with basic artistic techniques. He spends the majority of his childhood educating himself with visits to art museums.

1909-14   Upon graduation, he is offered an architectural scholarship, which he declines in favor of pursuing art. He works during this time towards his goal of becoming a professional painter, earning an income as a commercial artist and illustrator.

Autumn 1912   Enrolls in the Ferrer School, beginning a period of intense and rapid artistic development. His early paintings show aspects of cubism.

1913   Meets Alfred Stieglitz. Through Stieglitz's Gallery 291, Man Ray becomes acquainted with many avant-garde artists, including Marcel Duchamp, with whom he would form the New York Dada movement. His works begin to depict figural movement.

1915   First solo show of paintings and drawings.

1917   Abandons painting and collage for photography, and opens his own portrait studio. Together with Duchamp, founds Société Anonyme, an organization dedicated to promoting international avant-garde art and artists within the United States.

1921   Moves to Paris to learn of new European movements. Becomes an active and influential member of the Dada and Surrealist art movements.

1922   Invents the rayograph, a new method of creating a photograph. The photographic images are created by placing images directly on photosensitive paper.

1920s/1930s   Becomes a popular fashion photographer, publishing photographs in Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Begins experimenting with solarization, creating a photographic image from a negative form.

World War II   Moves to Hollywood, California, focusing on painting and film-making with Dada and Surrealist innovations.

1951   Returns to Paris, where he remains until his death in 1976.