/Ken Heyman, 89, Dies; Collaborative Photographer With a Singular Eye

Ken Heyman, 89, Dies; Collaborative Photographer With a Singular Eye

Ken Heyman, a main photographer who labored with Margaret Mead, shot scores of assignments for Life journal, collaborated with President Lyndon B. Johnson and endlessly sought new, revelatory methods of seeing the world, died on Dec. 10 at his house in Manhattan. He was 89.

His daughter Jennifer McCarthy confirmed his demise.

Mr. Heyman first accompanied Mead, the famous cultural anthropologist, on a journey to Bali in 1957, and he took the pictures for “Family,” an acclaimed 1965 collaboration wherein the 2 examined households around the globe in photos and textual content.

“The combination,” Jacob Deschin wrote in a evaluation in The New York Times, “more integrated than is usual in word and picture associations, should make anthropology palatable for many who might never be inclined to pick up a book on the subject.”

The subsequent yr he collaborated with President Johnson on “This America: A Portrait of a Nation,” a e-book supposed as an instance Johnson’s “Great Society” initiatives. Johnson wrote the textual content.

Those two books had been amongst greater than 40 that Mr. Heyman printed, both on his personal or in collaboration with writers. Some had been whimsical, like a sequence of kids’s books with Ann Morris that took a international take a look at specific topics (“Bread, Bread, Bread,” “Hats, Hats, Hats”). Others documented the grown-up world, like “Pop Art” (1965) and “The Private World of Leonard Bernstein” (1968, with John Gruen).

“Ken Heyman seems to use his skill and the photographic process to allow other people, his subjects, to make their own pitch about themselves,” an essay about him in the book “U.S. Camera ’62” said. “He doesn’t really take pictures of people and things (or, God forbid, grind out endless examples of his own cleverness). He photographs feelings and relationships.”

He would often do so from unexpected perspectives, a technique illustrated by “Hipshot: One-Handed, Auto-Focus Photographs by a Master Photographer,” a 1988 book of images shot with a cheap camera held at knee height, resting on the ground or otherwise positioned to capture an unusual perspective. Kelly Wise, in a review in The Boston Globe, called it “a book that almost hums with its own street sounds.”

Kenneth Louis Heyman was born on Oct. 6, 1930, in Manhattan to David and Ruth (Stein) Heyman. He first became interested in photography in high school, and once he enrolled at Columbia College he continued to pursue that passion, taking photographs for the campus newspaper, working late in the darkroom so often that he tended to sleep through his morning classes.

He had essentially no formal photography training.

“The summer between my junior and senior year at Columbia I took a class at an art institute in the city,” he said. “I was kicked out because they thought I wasn’t serious enough. Working for Life magazine was my training ground.”

He ultimately shot more than 150 assignments for the magazine, he said. Other magazines to feature his work included Time and Look.

Mr. Heyman’s marriages to Wendy Drew and Brenda Redmond ended in divorce. In addition to Ms. McCarthy, from his first marriage, he is survived by his wife, Judith Raboy, whom he married in 1998; another daughter from his first marriage, Amanda Silverman; three sons from his first marriage, Tim, Chris and Jason; two stepdaughters, Sara Raboy Hanley and Amanda Raboy Lewis; and 16 grandchildren.

Mr. Heyman frequently taught or spoke to classes, including in elementary schools. He would sometimes pose a question to schoolchildren: If you had a third eye, where would you put it? It was a question that, he thought, had a correct answer.

“Most of them said in the middle of the forehead and that sort of thing,” he recounted in the 2012 video interview. “But the answer is, in the middle of the palm of your hand. Because you could look underneath things, you could look behind you.”

Source link Nytimes.com

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