Man Ray

BORN 27 Aug 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - DIED 18 Nov 1976, Paris
BIRTH NAME Radnitzky, Emmanuel
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière du Montparnasse, 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet (division 07, ligne 1)

Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radnitzky. He grew up in the USA but would spend most of his life in Paris. In 1897 his family moved to Brooklyn and from 1904 onwards he received training in freehand drawing as well as industrial draughtsmanship. In 1908 he refused a grant to study architecture. He worked as an advertising draughtsman and discovered the works of Duchamp and Picabia in 1913.

He made his first cubist painting ("Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz") and met the Belgian poet Donna Lecoeur (Adon Lacroix), who made him familiar with the work of the modern French poets. He married Adon in 1914 and by now he called himself Man Ray. In 1915 he bought a camera and during the same year he met Duchamp in Richfield, New Jersey.

In 1916 he participated in the Dada movement in New York and in 1917 he painted his first aerograph. He separated from Adon in 1919 (a formal divorce followed in 1937). In "Self Portrait" he recalled that she took another lover but still lived near him and at a certain occasion she knocked on his door, entered his house and started crying, after which he brutally took her once more, after which she relaxed and smiled.

He exhibited in several cities in the USA until he left for Paris in 1921. There Duchamp introduced him to many artists. Het met Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie and Kiki de Montparnasse, who became his mistress. In 1922 he photographed Gertrude Stein, Georges Braque, James Joyce and others. On 18 Nov 1922 he photographed Marcel Proust on his deathbed. During the twenties he made several movies.

In 1929 Lee Miller visited him in Paris and then followed him to Biarritz. She became his assistant, his pupil, and his mistress. She worked for him until 1932. In 1936 he started a liaison with a Black woman named Adrienne Fidelin (Ady) who also became his model and his muse. In 1940 he moved to the USA without Ady, who wanted to stay in France to care for her family.

In Hollywood he met Juliet Browner (1911-1991), a dancer and a model. He married her in Beverly Hills on 24 Oct 1946 in a double wedding including Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning. In 1951 he moved to Paris with Juliet. He started a series of Natural Paintings in 1958. He lived for the rest of his life in Paris, and he died there in 1976. Juliet died in 1991 on Long Island and was buried beside him.

• Wife: Browner, Juliet (1946-1976)

Related persons
• photographed Bischoffsheim, Marie-Laure, Vicomtesse de Noailles
• was a friend of Breker, Arno
• photographed Brooks, Romaine
• photographed Casati, Luisa, Marchesa
• cooperated with Duchamp, Marcel
• was a friend of Zürn, Unica


The grave of Man Ray at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)


The grave of Man Ray at the Montparnasse cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (27 Aug 2001)


Wikipedia (EN):

Manahan, Sheila

Published: 24 May 2009
Last update: 07 Jun 2024