Courtesy of Carl Van Vechten
Born Emmanuel Radnitsky in South Philadelphia and raised in New York, where he studied art, Man Ray adopted his pseudonym when he was 19 years old. At the famous Armory show of 1913, Man Ray became acquainted with the Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, who became his entrée into avant-garde circles in New York. In 1921, he moved to Paris, where he became associated with the Surrealist movement and began experimenting with photography, developing a particular style of photogram that he called a "rayograph." May Ray was forced to flee Paris during World War II and he returned to the United States. He is best known today for his distinctive avant-garde portrait and fashion photography. In 1999, ARTnews magazine named him one of the 25 most influential artists of the twentieth century.