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Philippe Halsman's Jump Book
With nearly 200 photographs of Halsman's famous subjects in midair, these uniquely witty and energetic images of airborne movie stars, politicians, royalty, artists, and authors have become an important part of Halsman's photographic legacy. For six years in the mid-1950s, he ended his portrait sessions by asking his sitters to jump. Grace Kelly hikes her skirt with surprising moxie. Marilyn Monroe, Edward Steichen, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Oppenheimer, John Steinbeck, Weegee, Aldous Huxley, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Brigitte Bardot, and Groucho Marx all take the leap of faith - ensuring that we see something about them that we hadn't quite seen before. It is a tribute to Halsman's powers of persuasion that Richard Nixon, the Duke & Duchess of Windsor, Judge Learned Hand (in his mid-80s at the time) and other figures not known for their spontaneity could be talked into rising to the challenge. He called the resulting pictures his hobby. And in Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, he tells us, with mock-academic wit, that the photos are studies in the new science of Jumpology.