Alvin Langdon Coburn  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Alvin Langdon Coburn (11 January 1882 - 23 November 1966) was a pioneering photographer.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he worked in Britain, becoming a a British subject in 1932 and building a house in Harlech in North Wales where he lived 1918-45, before moving to Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, on the north coast of Wales.

He became a leading figure in the struggle for photography's recognition as a fine art. From 1905-1910 he had a Symbolist period.

In 1912 he married Edith Wightman Clement of Boston and they moved to England.

In 1916 he pioneered vortographs, an abstract work produced using mirrors in a vortoscope, rather like a kaleidoscope.

He then became interested in the occult. From 1923-1930 he became fully devoted to the Hermetic Truth Society and the Order of Ancient Wisdom. After 1930 he made abstract photographs in the same vein as Minor White. He was also a member of The Linked Ring Brotherhood.

In 1931 he was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

He created two books of collected portraits: Men of Mark (1913) and More Men of Mark (1922), and an autobiography.

There is a blue plaque, awarded by the Royal Photographic Society, on his home in Harlech, North Wales.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Alvin Langdon Coburn" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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