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Ettlinger, Marion


ETTLINGER, MARION (1949– ), U.S. photographer. Ettlinger, the daughter of German Jews who fled the Nazis in December 1938, grew up in Queens, n.y., and was educated at Cooper Union in Manhattan, where she studied painting. She discovered photography then but it was not until 1983, when she got an assignment from Esquire magazine, that she found her calling and her career. Esquire, celebrating its 50th birthday, asked Ettlinger to photograph authors who had contributed to a special issue of the magazine. Her photograph of the writer Truman Capote, in striking profile, proved memorable, and in more than 20 years Ettlinger photographed more than 600 authors for book jackets. She worked exclusively in black and white, using only natural light. More than 200 of her author photos were collected in Author Photo: Portraits, 19832002, a coffee-table volume that includes well-known writers as well as her own image. Previously, authors often tended to appear on the covers of their books in relaxed, un-self-conscious moods and settings. But Ettlinger made portraits for the book jackets, the authors posed and orchestrated as objects in their own right, and her name entered the language as a verb. To be "Ettlingered," according to an article in the New York Times, means to have imparted to you an aura of distinction and renown. Publishers considered these photos as assets to help sell their books.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]

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