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Jumpology: a Tribute to Philippe Halsman

 

By Bob Pakes

 

During his career, Philippe Halsman photographed an incredible amount of prominent people. From US presidents to comedians, and from Nobel prize winners to Hollywood’s elite. Halsman’s work includes iconic photos of Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Alfred Hitchcock, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali.

What distinguishes Halsman from all other photographers, is that once the formal shoot was over, Halsman asked his subjects to jump! And most celebrities did just that. Philippe Halsman: “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping, the mask falls off, and the real person appears”.

The way a person jumps, says a lot about the personality of this individual. Some people lift their knees up and jump very high, others spread their legs and arms and cannot help but smile. Some people jump with great confidence and reach for the sky, while others mainly try to hold their balance and barely leave the ground. Halsman’s theory became known as jumpology.

In this article we’ll take a look at 40 of Philippe Halsman’s jumpers.
3 … 2 … 1 … jump!

 


 

LEFT:
Adlai Stevenson (1956)
presidential candidate 1952 and 1956
 
RIGHT:
Anthony Perkins (1958)
actor, singer

 

LEFT:
Audrey Hepburn (1955)
actress
 
RIGHT:
Bob Hope (1956)
actor, comedian, singer

 

LEFT:
Brigitte Bardot (1955)
actress
 
RIGHT:
David Sarnoff (1953)
chairman of RCA Victor

 

LEFT:
Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis (1951)
actors, singers
 
RIGHT:
Diana Dors (1953)
actress

 

LEFT:
Dick Clark (1958)
cultural icon
 
RIGHT:
Dolores Del Rio (1958)
actress

 

LEFT:
Ed Sullivan (1955)
tv personality
 
RIGHT:
Eva Gabor (1952)
actress and socialite

 

LEFT:
Eva Marie Saint (1955)
actress
 
RIGHT:
Grace Kelly (1955)
actress

 

LEFT:
Groucho Marx (1952)
actor, radio and tv personality
 
RIGHT:
Jackie Gleason (1955)
actor, comedian

 

LEFT:
Joanna Woodward (1957)
actress
 
RIGHT:
Judy Holiday (1956)
actress

 

LEFT:
Julie London (1956)
singer
 
RIGHT:
Kim Novak (1955)
actress

 

LEFT:
Marc Chagall (1955)
artist
 
RIGHT:
Milton Berle (1951)
actor, comedian, tv personality

 

LEFT:
Muhammad Ali (1963)
the greatest
 
RIGHT:
Peter Ustinov (1955)
actor, writer

 

LEFT:
Phil Silvers (1955)
actor
 
RIGHT:
Pier Angeli (1954)
actress

 

LEFT:
Richard L. Simon (1951)
 
RIGHT:
M. Lincoln Schuster (1951)
 
book publishers

 

LEFT:
Richard Nixon (1959)
US president
 
RIGHT:
Robert Montgomery (1955)
actor

 

LEFT:
Robert Oppenheimer (1958)
father of the atomic bomb
 
RIGHT:
Robert Sarnoff (1954)
president of NBC

 

LEFT:
Selman A. Waksman (1954)
Nobel prize winning biochemist
 
RIGHT:
Shirley MacLaine (1957)
actress

 

LEFT:
Sophia Loren (1955)
actress
 
RIGHT:
Steve Allen (1959)
tv personality

 

LEFT:
The Duke & Duchess of Windsor (1958)
British royalty
 
RIGHT:
Thomas E. Dewey (1965)
governor of New York

 


 

Marilyn Monroe deserves a special mention. She was photographed by Philippe Halsman on several occasions, and according to Halsman, Marilyn always loved to jump for him.
 
Halsman: “Marilyn projects ecstasy, but the clenched fists indicate how tense she actually is and how hard she works on something she does not actually feel.”
 
In the image below to the right, we can see Halsman jumping with Marilyn.

 

 


 

So, did Elvis ever jump?
He sure did! But only formally, and never in front of Philippe Halsman’s camera.
 
 
 
To the right we see
Philippe Halsman’s Jump Book
 
This legendary book (first published in 1959) contains 178 photographs of celebrity jumpers and comes very highly recommended!

 


 

 


 

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Alan White #

    WOW, some great photography, thanks for sharing these Bob.

    April 1, 2018

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