The heir of a wealthy American family and the son of a French mother, Paul Burty Haviland studies in Paris as well as New York where he lives the life of a dandy aesthete and supports Alfred Steiglitz’s art gallery with a strong interest in the Dada and Cubist movements and participates to the avant-garde publication, Camera Work. Having been himself painted by Auguste Renoir, in 1884, he is fascinated by artistic bohemian circles and fulfills his passion for theatre, poetry and photography. Inspired by James McNeill Whistler and Japonism, the American photographer depicts foggy urban scenes but also and mostly melancholic nudes of a particular model, Florence Peterson, that evoke the work of Clarence Hudson White. In 1917, he marries René Lalique’s daughter, Suzanne and settles in the French countryside where he captures views of ruins and artists’ portraits, far from Florence’s intimate and delicate silhouette.
Haviland, Paul Burty. Paul Burty Haviland / Photographe. ginkgo, 2009.