The legacy of Ernst Haas to color photography is
profound. His influence on a generation of photographers
worldwide through his many essays in Life and other
magazines, his many photographic books and his
lectures at photography workshops is overwhelming.
Born in Vienna in 1921, his first published photographs
in 1947 of returning Austrian prisoners were seen by
Robert Capa, who invited Haas to join the newly formed
photographers' cooperative, Magnum Photos.
Haas began to experiment with color photography in 1949, the infancy of that medium,
and emigrated to New York City in 1951, where he began photographing "Images of
Magic City", which Life magazine published as its first color essay of unprecendented
24 pages over two issues in 1953.
Although Haas photographed in a straight documentary style, he gradally became more
involved in the inrepretive posibilities with color photography in keeping with a man who
was intesely interested in poetry, music, and paining. "I don't belive in photography for
photography," he has said. "I believe that a photographer has to be linked to all the
Edward Steichen called Hass "a free spirit, untrammeled by tradition and theory, who
has gone out and found beauty unparalleled in photography," and gave him the first
color exhibition ever held at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Haas phtographed in Venice, Germany, the Himalayas and continued his love with
America, but his final grat work of his life, which ended so abruptly in 1986 at the age of
65, brought him to Japan five times to photograph landscapes and personal projects.
Pacific Press Service benefited profoundly from his insight, friendship and association,
and is proud to have organized this retrospective exhibition of his color and black and
white photography. The cooperation of Alexander and Victoria Haas, Ernst's children,
has been invaluable.
It is grateful to the embassies of the United States of America and Austria, the
Photographic Society of Japan, the Japan Professional Photographers Society and the
Japan Advertising Photographers Association for their patronage, and to Dai-ichi
Mutual Life Insurance Company for its generous contribution to the realization of Ernst
Robert L. Kirschenbaum
Pacific Press Service