Adolfo Kaminsky Obituary and Tributes

Dear Friends and Readers,

We are saddened by the news that Adolfo Kaminsky has died last night at the age of 97. This brave man, survivor, defender of human rights, photographer, husband and father left an outsized legacy and in great humility was honored the world over.

We have opened comments at the bottom of our book page for Adolfo Kaminsky, A Forger’s Life if you would like to leave any remarks or send thoughts to the family.

Carrie Paterson

Publisher and Editor in chief

Adolfo Kaminsky (1924–2023) made his living in Paris as a photographer in various fields: postcards, advertising photos, and photo reportage while, at the same time, working clandestinely as an unpaid forger for humanitarian causes. He photographed numerous works of art for exhibition catalogs and posters, and he was the regular documentarian for French painters who were precursors of kinetic art. As a specialist for giant-format photography Adolfo Kaminsky produced film sets for Alexandre Trauner, the set designer for Marcel Carné, René Clair and others. He also took thousands of artistic photographs throughout his life, featured in books (Adolfo Kaminsky, A Forger’s Life – DoppelHouse, Changer la donne – Cent Mille Millard) and several exhibitions, including at the Museum of Jewish Art and History. When asked about “the origin of this secret passion, Kaminsky replied shyly, whispering, ‘I had wanted there to be an artist somewhere, voluntarily repressed, because it was important not to be known, nor recognized’,” reported Le Monde in an obituary.

Tributes and articles from around the world appeared in the days following his death, including in The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Times of IsraelForwardLe Monde (English article here), Financial Times, The Economist, and a very special appreciation of his artistry in Blind magazine, “The Guardian Angel Photographer.”