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Bettmann-Corbis Wall Art

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Dr. Otto Bettmann (Born October 15, 1903 – May 3, 1998) was born in Leipzig, Germany. He began his professional career as a curator of rare books in Berlin at the Prussian State Art Library. The rise of Nazism foreshortened his career path and he packed all his belongings including films, books, and two steamer trunks full of pictures and moved to New York City in 1935. Coincidentally, when he arrived in New York City, he found photojournalism to be very popular there. Pictorial magazines and movie newsreel had sparked what many referred to as the beginning of the visual age. It seemed as if everybody wanted pictures and Bettmann had two trunks full! He soon created an industry for himself where he was collecting and classifying images for publication. He supplied these images to his first clients who included LIFE, Look Magazine, and the Book of the Month Club. World War II and television fueled public demand for his images. He selected his pictures with an eye for artistic composition, drama, humor, and historical relevance. His Archive hit 15,000 pictures by 1938, and today it has more than 11 million pictures some or majority of which are more than 100 years old. The Bettmann Archive offers imagery within five basic categories: Personalities, World Events, Lifestyles, Advertising Art, and Art and Illustrations. Once he had secured his work life, he decided to live his remaining years in Florida, USA, where he enjoyed writing books and being with his family. Dr. Otto Bettmann wrote nine books in total, including “They Were Terrible”, “The Good Old Days”, and “Our Literary History”, among others. He died in 1998 at the age of 94.
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