Benn Mitchell Photographs

Actor Humphrey Bogart in pinstripe suit and fedora smoking a cigarette squinting through the smoke.

Benn Mitchell (b. 1926 New York, NY; d. 2021 Boca Raton, FL), "Humphrey Bogart," 1943, printed 2005. Acquired 2005; Museum Purchase

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From the age of 13, when he received his first camera, Mitchell produced photographs that capture a particularly American vitality. Born in New York City in 1926, he sold his first photograph to “Life” magazine when he was 16. Then, at age 17, he headed west, gaining permission from Warner Brothers to frequent the studios, shooting Hollywood stars on various sets and sound stages. One of his most valued photographs in this exhibition features Humphrey Bogart in a rare moment of respite, having a cigarette break between takes.
After two years of duty as a navy photographer, he returned to New York City and worked as a photographer in a large commercial studio. In 1951 he started a commercial studio. Finally, he retired to Boca Raton, where he and his wife Esther avidly supported the Museum, donating many of Mitchell's photographs to the collection.
 

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Additional Sponsor Text

This exhibition has been made possible by the Museum's Leadership Donors.