Con Amore Hiller, Lejaren  (American, 1880-1969)

Born John Hiller, he changed his name to Lejaren à Hiller when he moved from Milwaukee to New York City. Hiller studied painting and illustration at the Chicago Art Institute and traveled to Paris where he found work in a number of studios. By the early 1900s his attention turned to photography and he was widely regarded as the "creator of American photographic illustration". Hiller was known for dramatically staged tableaux. He would spend considerable time and effort in arranging the set and models, while an assistant took the photograph, making Hiller’s contribution more directorial than photographic. Hiller depicted Entombments and Crucifictions “extraordinary aberrations of taste when arranged for exhibition purposes, neither public nor photographers realized that, however accomplished, such productions completely failed to further the art of photography.” [1]

"In Hiller’s photographs, partly clad nymphs and gods pursue one another with poetic abandon, their shimmering limbs stretched in graceful spontaneity. Hiller worked in darkness, illuminating the models by flashlight just at the moment when the sought-after expression and attitude has been achieved." [2]


[1] Gernsheim Creative Photography p. 134 540

[2] Elspeth H. Brown