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Arnold Genthe

Arnold Genthe PhotographsCreated by: PICRYLDated: 1925
Arnold Genthe seated next to a woman friend in his studio in San Francisco
Arnold Genthe was born in Berlin. His father was a professor of Latin and Greek. Genthe followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a classically trained scholar; he received a doctorate in philology in 1894 from the University of Jena.

After emigrating to San Francisco in 1895 to work as a tutor for the son of Baron and Baroness J. Henrich von Schroeder, he taught himself photography. He was intrigued by the Chinatown part of the city and photographed, often secretly, its inhabitants. About 200 of his Chinatown pictures survive, and these comprise the only known photographic depictions of the area before the 1906 earthquake. The San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed Genthe's studio, but he rebuilt.

He was a friend of George Sterling, Jack London, Harry Leon Wilson, Ambrose Bierce, and Mary Austin. He was appointed in 1907 to the Board of Directors of the Art Gallery in Monterey’s luxury Hotel Del Monte, where he ensured that the work of important regional art photographers, such as Laura Adams Armer and Anne Brigman, was displayed with his own prints.

In 1911 he moved to New York City, where he remained until his death of a heart attack in 1942. He worked primarily in portraiture, and Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and John D. Rockefeller all sat for him. His photos of Greta Garbo were credited with boosting her career. He also photographed dancers, including Anna Pavlova, Isadora Duncan, Audrey Munson, and Ruth St. Denis, and his photos were featured in the 1916 book, The Book of the Dance.
3,335 Media in collectionpage 1 of 34
Genthe family crest
Portion of an illustrated Japanese or Chinese manuscript or scroll that belonged to Arnold Genthe
The street of the gamblers (by day), Chinatown, San Francisco
Woman carrying a child across the street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Gambling hall, Jackson Street corner, Chinatown, San Francisco
Vendors and a horse and cart on a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Man and a young child walking down a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Pigtail parade, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - The street of painted balconies, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Southern edge of Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Two little maids from school, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - In holiday finery, Chinatown, San Francisco

Arnold Genthe - In holiday finery, Chinatown, San Francisco

Title from a similar image in: Old Chinatown : a book of pictures / by Arnold Genthe ; with text by Will Irwin. New York : M. Kennerley, 1913, p. 73. Alternate title from a similar image in: Pictures of old Chi... More

Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Poster of Protect the Emperor Society, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - The opium fiend, Chinatown, San Francisco
Sculpture that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - The crossing, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Boy in doorway of lamp store, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - The new toy, Chinatown, San Francisco
Chinese American men and child in front of building with hanging lanterns, Chinatown, San Francisco

Chinese American men and child in front of building with hanging lante...

Photograph shows Chinese American men in traditional dress standing on a street in Chinatown, San Francisco. One man holds a child. Title devised by Library staff. Forms part of: Genthe photograph collection (L... More

Arnold Genthe - The sword dancer, Chinatown, San Francisco

Arnold Genthe - The sword dancer, Chinatown, San Francisco

Title from a similar image in: Old Chinatown : a book of pictures / by Arnold Genthe ; with text by Will Irwin. New York : M. Kennerley, 1913, p. 191. Alternate titles from a similar image in: Genthe's photogra... More

Arnold Genthe - Pigtail parade, Chinatown, San Francisco
The street of the gamblers (by night), Chinatown, San Francisco

The street of the gamblers (by night), Chinatown, San Francisco

Title from a similar image in: Old Chinatown : a book of pictures / by Arnold Genthe ; with text by Will Irwin. New York : M. Kennerley, 1913, p. 35. Purchase; Genthe Estate; 1942 or 1943.

Ring with the Genthe family crest
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - A corner on the hillside, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Three women on Kearney Street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - A corner on the hillside, Chinatown, San Francisco
Portion of a Chinese or Japanese manuscript on a screen that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - The street of the slave girls, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Three women on Kearney Street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Page from a book written in Greek
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Young aristocrats, Chinatown, San Francisco
Drawing by Haig Patigian of Arnold Genthe accompanied by three young women entitled Herr Doctor taking peaches
Sculpture that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe seated next to a woman friend in his studio in San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - In softly gaudy colors, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Two men standing on a sidewalk, Chinatown, San Francisco
Genthe family crest

Genthe family crest

Title devised. Purchase; Genthe Estate; 1942 or 1943.

Arnold Genthe - The Chinese Salvation Army, Chinatown, San Francisco
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Two men standing on a sidewalk, Chinatown, San Francisco
Man and two boys walking along a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Jewish balloon man, Chinatown, San Francisco
Portrait drawing of Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe at the beach
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - A native son, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Reading wall notices, Chinatown, San Francisco
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - The alley, Chinatown, San Francisco

Arnold Genthe - The alley, Chinatown, San Francisco

Title from a similar image in: Old Chinatown : a book of pictures / by Arnold Genthe ; with text by Will Irwin. New York : M. Kennerley, 1913, p. 13. Purchase; Genthe Estate; 1942 or 1943.

Man and a young child walking down a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - One Washington Place, Chinatown, San Francisco
Boy and a girl walking down a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Dupont Street entrance to Chinatown, San Francisco
Three children in front of a cellar door, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Bob Lim and brother, Chinatown, San Francisco

Arnold Genthe - Bob Lim and brother, Chinatown, San Francisco

Title from a similar image in: Genthe's photographs of San Francisco's old Chinatown / photographs by Arnold Genthe ; selection and text by John Kuo Wei Tchen. New York : Dover Publications, 1984, pl. 10. Purch... More

Arnold Genthe - The street of the slave girls, Chinatown, San Francisco
Vendors and a horse and cart on a street, Chinatown, San Francisco

Vendors and a horse and cart on a street, Chinatown, San Francisco

Title devised. Purchase; Genthe Estate; 1942 or 1943.

Arnold Genthe - Women and children crossing a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Sculpture that belonged to Arnold Genthe
The street of the gamblers (by day), Chinatown, San Francisco

The street of the gamblers (by day), Chinatown, San Francisco

Title from a similar image in: Old Chinatown : a book of pictures / by Arnold Genthe ; with text by Will Irwin. New York : M. Kennerley, 1913, p. 139. Purchase; Genthe Estate; 1942 or 1943.

Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Screen drawing that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Children walking, Chinatown, San Francisco
Group of people at Long Beach, New York
Portion of an illustrated Japanese or Chinese manuscript or scroll that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Vendors and a horse and cart on a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - A holiday, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - The fortune teller, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - Carrying New Year's presents, Chinatown, San Francisco
Arnold Genthe - The lily vendor, Chinatown, San Francisco

Arnold Genthe - The lily vendor, Chinatown, San Francisco

Purchase; Genthe Estate; 1942 or 1943.

Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Father and boy, Chinatown, San Francisco
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Street stand, Chinatown, San Francisco
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art objects that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Boys on the sidewalk, Chinatown, San Francisco
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
The street of the gamblers (by night), Chinatown, San Francisco
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Screen painting that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Arnold Genthe - Two men standing on a sidewalk, Chinatown, San Francisco
Drawing that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
Man and two boys walking along a street, Chinatown, San Francisco
Art object that belonged to Arnold Genthe
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