Sitting Book

From the beginning of his career, Arnold Newman kept careful records of his photo sessions in a "sitting book". The sitting book recorded the date and subject of each session, as well as the client and the film format that he used. Almost every one of Newman’s photo sessions and subjects throughout his career is recorded in the book. Two pages from the sitting book are reproduced below (click on the image for a higher resolution view). These pages, covering the period from July 1946 to February 1947, record Newman’s famous session with Igor Stravinsky. Other notable subjects on these pages are Leonard Bernstein, the writers Eugene O’Neill and Gore Vidal, the artists Jacque Lipchitz, Raphael Soyer, John Marin, Chaim Gross and William Steig, and the photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and Ben Rose. The original sitting book is in the Arnold Newman Archive at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas. A digital version of the complete sitting book can be viewd here. The 9 columns of the sitting book indicate, from left to right: date, subject, description, job number, client, and film format (8 X 10, 4 X 5, 2 ¼ , 35 mm). Subjects can be searched in the digital sitting book using the “find” function.