Maurice Tabard was a dominant figure in avant-garde and modernist photography. His photo-montages, double exposures and solarized prints from the late 1920s and 1930s established him as a visionary artist.

Tabard's artistic formation originated with his father, a silk manufacturer and amateur photographer. After attended the Photographic Institute of New York, he honed his skills as a portrait photographer at the famed Bachrach studios. In the spirit of furthering his career he moved to Paris in 1928. Shortly after his arrival, Philippe Soupault, author and co-founder of the Surrealist movement, introduced him to Lucien Vogel. Vogel, an editor and publisher, helped Tabard to establish himself as fashion, portrait and advertising photographer. Tabard's work appeared in numerous fashion magazines including Jardin des Modes, Harper's Bazaar, Figaro des Modes, Elle and Vogue. Charles Peignot, founder of Arts et Métiers Graphique, was impressed by Tabard's solarizations and hired him as studio director of Deberny-Peignot.

Throughout the 1930s-1950s, Tabard continued to experiment with his personal work. His successes in this area led him to become one of the most popular avant-garde photographers of the time, with work reproduced in publications such as Bifur, Art et Decoration, Arts et Métier Graphique and included in shows like the landmark "Film Und Foto" exhibition, and venues like the Galerie la Pleiade in Paris, Julian Levy gallery and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


1897 Born Lyon, France.

1914 Moved to Paterson NJ where his father worked in the silk mills.

1914-1920 Studies at the Photographic Institute of New York under founder Emile Brunel.

1922 Hired as a portrait photographer at Bachrach studio in Baltimore.

Father died.

1925 Returned to New York where he meets painter Carlos Baca-Flor.

1927/28 Returned to France; shifts focus from portraits to fashion and advertising.

Philippe Soupault put him in touch with Lucien Vogel and Alexey Brodovitch.

Worked for Vogel in Jardin des Modes, as well as Jazz, Bifur, and Marie Claire.

1929 Participated in "Film und Foto" exhibition, Stuttgart.

Franz Roh includes him in his publication Foto-Auge.

Began working for Studio Deberny-Peignot with Roger Parry as his assistant.

1930 Meets Man Ray and René Magritte.

Included in "Film Und Foto" exhibition, Vienna.

1932 Experimented with solarization.

Included in "Surrealism" and "Modern European Photography" exhibitions at Julien Levy Gallery, New York.

1933 Took part in group exhibition at "La Pleïade" Galerie d'Art Contemporain, Paris.

Arts et Métiers Graphiques published his article on solarization to the consternation of his friend Man Ray.

Charles Peignot hired him as Director of Photo Studio Deberny & Peignot.

1938 Included in "Photography 1839-1937" exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

1939-40 Director of Marie Claire in Lyon.

1942 Traveled to Africa as a film photographer.

1940s Brodovitch, Director of Harper's Bazaar, hired him in New York.

Met Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Martin Munkacsi.

Taught at University of Hudson and Winona Lake School of Photography.

Traveled to Paris frequently on fashion assignments.

Virtually all of his work and negatives are destroyed during the war.

1948 Bestowed an award from the Photographer's Association of America.

1949 Began studies on geometry as the foundation for art.

1951-1960 Returned to France to work freelance for Vogue, Marie Claire, Le Jardin des Modes, Femina, Elle, Silhouette, Jazz Magazine.

1966 Retires from photography.

1973 Work is rediscovered in Ecole de Paris 1925-1939.

1980 Moved to Nice.

1983 Receives the "Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris".

1984 Died in Nice.


2002 Maurice Tabard: Geometrician Charleroi Museum of Photography, Belgium

1994 Maurice Tabard Musée national d'art moderne, Paris

1988 Maurice Tabard, Galerie Municipale du Chateau d'Eau,Toulouse, France

1985 Maurice Tabard, French Cultural Institute, Innsbruck

Maurice Tabard, Landerbank, Vienna

Maurice Tabard, Neue Gallerie in Linz, Austria

Maurice Tabard Galerie Marion-Meyer, Paris

1985 Retrospective at Fondation nationale de la Photographie, Lyon with catalogue

1984 Maurice Tabard Galerie Wilde, Cologne

Maurice Tabard Marion-Mayer, Paris

1933 Solo exhibition at Galerie la Pleiade, Paris, France


2008 La Photographie Timbrée Galerie national du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

2006 Busy Going Crazy: The Sylvio Perlstein Collection, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France

2003 Sammlung Ann und Jürgen Wilde- Porträtfotografien der 1920er und 1930er Jahren Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hannover, Germany

2000 Man Ray & Maurice Tabard, Galerie 1900-2000, Paris, France

1999 The Photogram: 1918-1948, Ubu Gallery, New York, NY

1998 The Cottingly Fairies and other Apparitions Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York, NY

1985 L'Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington, DC

1982 Exhibition in homage to Tabard, Salon of Photography, Paris, France

1979 Photographic Surrealism New Gallery for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH

1979-80 France Between the Wars 1925-1940 Zabriskie Gallery, Paris, France

1977 Diez Grandes Fotografos, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracaras, Venuzuela

1975 Paris 1925-1939, capital of Photography Salon de la Photographie, Paris, France

1950s Photographic Society of America in Milwaukee, WI

Photographic Society of America in Baltimore, MD

1948 Professional Photographers Association of America, annual group exhibition, Chicago, IL

1938 Photography 1839-1937, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1936 Exposition internationale de la photographie contemporaine organized by Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France

1936 Les Dix Jules Lelev, Paris, France

1934 Galerie la Pleiade, Paris, France

1933 Galerie d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France

1932 Surrealism, Julien Levy Gallery, New York, NY

Modern European Photography, Julien Levy, New York, NY

1930 Film Und Foto Vienna, Austria

1929 Film Und Foto, Stuttgart, Germany