Moisé Benkow 1894-1952 never used his first name publicly. In all the newspaper clippings he collected, he is always referred to as « Mr M Benkow ».The Jewish « Moisé » or « Moses » was problably not an ideal name during his most prolific decade, the 1930s!
His father Elias (Chaym) came to Göteborg from Russia in 1906 as a photographer and moved the studio to Stockholm in 1914. Moisé took over the studio in 1924, his brother Ivan settled as a photographer in Norway. Of course they had learned the trade from their father, but Moisé had also spent the prewar years studying painting in Göteborg and Berlin. He spent his last years from 1950 as a student of André Loth in Paris.
He ran a portrait studio, but the images that secured him his position in the history are a number of ballet and nude studies, where the already sparse studio decorations had vanished totally. This is « Sorrow » from 1932.
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2018 © Marie-Lou Chatel