Anton and Martin Bruehl – The early color pictures

The Bruehl’s brothers are one of the pionniers for the color photography in America.

Bruehl – Resting Model, ca. 1935, Carbro print

Anton and Martin Bruehl formed in 1927 a commercial partnership in New York City and specialized in making high quality color images for publisher Conde Nast, where they became their “chief colour photographers” in 1932.

Their New York based studio became quickly famous for the inventivity of the elaborate tableaux they created in studio but also for the process of high‑quality colour reproductions they developped with the commercial photographer and technician Fernand Bourges. Before the Kodachrome, which came in 1935, made color photographs easier to realize, their color carbro technique (with pigmented gelatin harden on silver bromide paper) was highly admired for its color range and fidelity. This is how the two South Australian-born brothers made one of the first color photographs ever published in magazines in the USA.

At the time when magazines and advertising agencies were switching over to photographic rather than graphic art illustration, the Bruehl brothers first supplied advertising images to the new Time Inc business magazine Fortune before they worked for Condé Nast and magazines such as Vanity Fair,VogueHouse and Garden untill the 1950s.

The Bruehl studio was in operation until 1966.

A moving exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia called “In the Spotlight” shows Anton Bruehl’s work untill April 2012.


Anton (1900-1982?) and Martin (1885-1980?) came at the age of 19 and 24 from Melbourne to New York with their sister and german born parents in 1919. They both died in the 1980s in America.

sources/credits: UMBC, University in Maryland – All right reserved


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