|Birth: ||Jun. 12, 1899, Ukraine|
|Death: ||Dec. 26, 1968|
Arthur Fellig was the name for black & white street photographer/photojournalist, Weegee, who was born Usher Fellig in Zolochiv near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia.
Weegee worked in New York City's Lower East Side as a press photographer from the 1930s to '40s. He developed his style by following the city's emergency services and documenting activity. His work depicted scenes of city life to include crime, injury, and death.
Weegee's nickname was a phonetic rendering of Ouija, due to his frequent arrivals at scenes only minutes after the crime, fire or emergencies was reported to authorities. This advantage came in 1938 when he was the only N.Y. reporter with a permit to have a police shortwave radio. Weegee worked mostly at night listening to broadcasts and often beating authorities to the scene.
Weegee used basic photographer equipment with flashbulbs and a set focus distance of 10 feet. A self-taught photographer with no formal photographic training he developed his photographs in a homemade darkroom in the back of his car which expedited his free-lance stories to the newspapers
The Museum of Modern Art acquired 5 of his photos in 1945. These works were included in their exhibition entitled, Action Photography. Later at the Museum of Modern Art he lectured at the New School for Social Research.
Advertising and editorial assignments for Life and Vogue magazine soon followed.
His first book was titled Naked City (1945) which he sold the title rights to film producer Mark Hellinger.
Weegee eventually worked in the Hollywood industry from 1946 to the '60s, as an actor and consultant with uncredited special effects consultant and credited still photographer for Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove. Weegee's accent was one of the influences for the accent of the title character in the film, played by Peter Sellers.
Weegee had also experimented with panoramic photographs, photo distortions and photography through prisms. With a plastic lens, he made a photograph of Marilyn Monroe where her face was grotesquely distorted yet recognizable. He also photographed nude subjects in Europe.
In 1980 Weegee's widow, Wilma Wilcox, helped create The Weegee Portfolio Incorporated, an exclusive collection of photographic prints made from Weegee's original negatives and in 1993 donated the entire Weegee archive to the International Center of Photography in New York.
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Specifically: It is believed that Weegee's ashes were placed in a 7" square box for burial at sea by the Neptune Society
Created by: Lorenzo Brieba
Record added: Mar 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66880394