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Zoltán KLUGER (1896-1977)

1896 Born in Kecskemét, Hungary. 

1914-1916 Aerial photographer of the Austro-Hungarian Army. He is awarded several times for his outstanding work. Supposedly he learned the principles of photography from this working experience during the war.

1928 He moves to Berlin with his family, and starts to work there as a photojournalist, with his partner Wilhelm von Szigethy. Among their clients is Erich Mendelsohn expressionist architect, and they also collaborate with several remarkable journals, such as Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung, Uhu, and RegPress. In Berlin, Kluger is introduced to the art of graphics, advertising, photomontage, and radical photojournalism. In this period, he makes friends with Martin Munkácsi, and the journalist Nachman Shifrin, who is the later founder of The Orient Press Company. 

1933 After Hitler comes into power, it becomes forbidden for German journals to work with jewish photographers. Kluger emigrates to Palestine, and in the same year, his friend Nachman Shifrin settles there too, and plans to set up a photo agency, which would collaborate with Zionist organizations.

1937 His works are shown in several international group exhibitions, in Paris, London and Vienna. 

1948 The founding of the state of Israel. Among several contemporary photographers, Kluger captures the festive events. The year 1948 is significant not only for the newly founded state, but it marks a turning point in Klugers career as well. In this new era, those Zionist organisations which are the main clients of The Orient Press Company playing less and less role in the distribution of photos, therefore Kluger can not works as much anymore as a photojournalist in the country. 

1958 After the monumental celebration of the 10th anniversary of the state-founding, and the cease of the Orient Press Company, Kluger and his wife emigrate to the US, in the hope of a new beginning. They settle in New York. Shorthly after their emigration his wife dies from illness. Kluger opens a photo store in that quarter of the city which is mostly inhabited by hungarian emigrants. For the rest of his life, he is engaged in selling cameras and films, and educating his custumers in photography.

1977 He dies in May, at the age of 81, leaving approximately 50,000 negatives behind, which are divided among several israeli institutions (Central Zionist Archives; Jewish National Fund Collection; the Israel State Archives; The National Photo Collection, Israel Defense Forces Archives). 

The first retrospective solo exhibition of his oeuvre takes place in The Eretz Israel Museum in Tel-Aviv in 2008.

Zoltán Kluger Berlin-Palestine (1928-1958)