'Self-portrait, Monte Carlo, October 1993' © The Helmut Newton Estate

'Self-portrait, Monte Carlo, October 1993' © The Helmut Newton Estate

The point of my photography has always been to challenge myself

Born in Berlin in 1920, Helmut Newton achieved international fame as a fashion photographer in the 1970s while working principally for French Vogue. Known for the precise glamour of his photographs as well as the striking, often controversial scenarios he chooses for his models. Much of his inspiration derived from the daily newspapers, real life situations or paparazzi shots. Most striking was his ability to make a thoroughly planned photograph seem fresh and dynamic. His portraits of the beautiful, the rich, the famous and infamous have amplified his ever-so-real fantasy world. 

The majority of Newton's work was shot in the streets or in interiors; he always said "A woman does not live in front of white paper. She lives on the street, in a motor car, in a hotel room". He was inspired by the German documentary photographer Erich Salomon, by Brassaï with whom he established a friendship and by Aleksander Rodchenko.

Living in France from 1960, then Monaco from 1980, he wintered for over thirty years with his wife June (the portrait photographer Alice Springs) in Los Angeles where he died following a heart attack in 2004. Just before his death he founded the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin with June. It opened shortly after his death to much critical acclaim and is one of the most visited photographic museums in Europe. 

Helmut Newton's work continues to be as distinctive and influential as ever.

Maconochie Photography is the sole worldwide representative for syndication and licensing for the Helmut Newton Estate.




Helmut Newton is one of the twentieth century's most influential fashion photographers and his work continues to inspire photographers, editors and designers. He was the seminal image-maker of his generation and while his style is often imitated, it is never equalled. It is easy to forget how his photographs were groundbreaking and pushed the limits when its influence is still so keenly felt and clearly seen.  



Helmut said "I like photographing the people I love, the people I admire, the famous, and especially the infamous" — and he certainly did. From Hollywood stars to politicians (loved and loathed), Helmut shot key figures of the twentieth century in his inimitable style. 



In the 1980s, Helmut moved away from fashion photography towards portraits and nudes. Most famous are his 'Big Nudes', inspired by huge blown-up mugshots of the Baader-Meinhof Group taken by West German police, and his 'Dressed and Undressed' series, 


The French and Italian Vogues had a more liberal attitude than some of the magazines in the UK and US, and were more willing to publish nudes. The 'Sie Kommen (They Are Coming)' diptych (below) appeared in Vogue Paris in 1981, and alongside the Big Nudes, are some of the few Newton images shot in a studio. 



The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin hosts the permanent collection 'Private Property' as well as two Newton exhibitions each year, alongside Alice Springs and other select photographers.

The Foundation was opened in 2004, shortly after Helmut's death in Los Angeles. It was established with the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), a government agency responsible for state-run museums in what was formerly Prussia, and acknowledging Helmut Newton's German roots.

Please see the News section for current Newton exhibitions.

Selected exhibitions

2019 —
’Helmut Newton, SUMO Three Boys of Pasadena Photo Collection of Helmut and June’, Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2018 —
Guy Bourdin 'Image Maker' / Helmut Newton 'A Gun for Hire' / Angelo Marino 'Another Story', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2017 —
Mario Testino 'Undressed' / Helmut Newton 'Unseen' / Jean Pigozzi 'Pool Party', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Icônes' Musée De La Photographie, Nice
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' Pan, Naples

2016 —
Alice Springs 'The MEP Show' / Helmut Newton 'Yellow Press' / Mart Engelen 'Portraits', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' Tre Oci, Venice
'Helmut Newton: A Retrospective' Foam, Amsterdam
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' Palazzo Ducale, Genova
'A Gun for Hire' Palazzo dei Pio, Carpi

2015 — 
'Newton / Horvat / Brodziak' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
Helmut Newton 'Pages from the Glossies' / Greg Gorman 'Colour Works', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2014 — 
'Sex and Landscapes / Us and Them', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Permanent Loan Selection' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2013 — 
Onassis Foundation, Athens
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles

2012 — 
'Helmut Newton, 1920-2004' Grand Palais, Paris
'World Without Men / Archives de Nuit' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2011 — 
'Werke aus einer Bremer Privatsammlung', Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
Kunsthaus Apolda, Apolda
'Polaroids' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'White Women / Sleepless Nights / Big Nudes' The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

2009 — 
'Werke aus einer Bremer Privatsammlung' Graphikmuseum Pablo Picasso, Münster
'SUMO' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2008 —
La Fábrica Galería, Madrid
'Werke aus einer Bremer Privatsammlung' Weserburg Museum Für Moderne Kunst, Bremen
'Pigozzi and the Paparazzi' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Fired' Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2007 — 
'72 Ore a Roma', Shenker Culture Club, Turin
'Wanted: Helmut Newton, Larry Clark, Ralph Gibson', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Helmut Newton: XL', Hamiltons Gallery, London

2006 —
'Sex and Landscapes', Palazzo Reale, Milan
'Men, War and Peace: Newton, Nachtwey, LaChapelle', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Fashion Works: Vintage and Contact Prints, 1962-1985', Galerie Johannes Faber, Vienna
'Yellow Press / Playboy Projections', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin

2005 — 
'A Gun for Hire', Grimaldi Forum, Monte Carlo
'A Gun for Hire', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Sex and Landscapes', Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich

2004 —
'Sex and Landscapes / Yellow Press', Retretti Art Centre, Kunsthalle Helsinki
'Photographs', Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills
'Sex and Landscapes / Us and Them', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Helmut Newton's Private Property', Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin
'Polaroids', Camera Work, Berlin

Some people’s photography is an art. Mine is not. If they happen to be exhibited in a gallery or a museum, that’s fine. But that’s not why I do them. I’m a gun for hire.
— Helmut Newton

2003 —
’Sex and Landscapes’, A Gallery for Fine Photography, New Orleans
’Retrospective’, House of Photography, Moscow
’Sex and Landscapes’, Aidan Gallery, Moscow
’Work’, NRW Forum, Düsseldorf
’Yellow Press’, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan
’Sex and Landscapes’ and ‘Yellow Press’, Arken Museum, Ishoj Copenhagen
’Yellow Press’, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris
’Big Nudes’, Hamiltons Gallery, London
’Love Affair’, Photography Monika Mohr Galerie, Hamburg
’Work’, Leica Gallery, Prague

2002 —
’Sex and Landscapes’, Rupertinum, Salzburg
’Sex and Landscapes’, Ludwig Museum, Budapest
’Sex and Landscapes’, Mayor Gallery, London
’Sex and Landscapes’ + new and unknown works, Galerie Hans Meyer, Düsseldorf
’Sex and Landscapes’, Galleria Gió Marconi, Milan
’Sie Kommen’, Andreas Baumgartl Galerie, Munich
’Sex and Landscapes’, Galerie Kaess-Weiss, Stuttgart
’Yellow Press’, Galerie de Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich
’Work’, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems
’Work’, Photo España, Madrid
’Work’, Daimura Museum, Osaka & Tokyo
’Welcome to Berlin’, Galerie Kicken, Berlin



Self-portrait with Helmut at the Chateau Marmont, 1991

Helmut by June

"Helmut Newton revolutionised fashion photography and electrified the art world with disturbing, highly eroticised images that transformed lush-bodied women into exquisite icons. This film, directed by Newton's frequent collaborator and wife of 56 years, June Newton, follows Helmut through photo sessions with an unselfconscious eye, as June turns the tables on Helmut to offer a voyeur's window into his personal and creative life. Poignant, comical and unsettling, it paints a riveting portrait of photography's dark prince as a man who is equally comfortable on either side of the camera."

Helmut by June has been broadcast on Canal+ in France, HBO in the US and the BBC in the UK. 

Helmut Newton’s SUMO: The Making of the World’s Most Expensive Book

Dir: Julian Benedikt

Jodie Foster, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, David Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, Daryl Hannah, Robert Evans, Karl Lagerfeld, Billy Wilder, Ettore Sottsass, Luciano Pavarotti, Monica Vitti, Marianne Faithful, David Bailey, Queen Silvia of Sweden – Helmut Newton has taken pictures of all of them for his huge book SUMO. Only 10.000 copies were published. At the time, a copy signed by more than one hundred of the featured personalities was sold for 620.000 DM at a charity auction. Julian Benedikt documented the signing of SUMO and accompanied Newton to his shootings. Many of the stars and Newton’s wife June comment in a very personal way on Helmut Newton and his photographic work.

Frames from the Edge DVD cover

Frames from the Edge

"Strong women in provocative poses, confident, mysterious — in Helmut Newton's photography, the lines between art and pornography are blurred. Whether fashion, portraiture or nudes, Newton's dramatically staged, voyeuristic shots are also reflections of Western society. In 1988, Adrian Maben visited the star photography in his adopted home in Monte Carlo and accompanied him to photo sessions in Los Angeles, Berlin and Paris. On these trips, he caught rare glimpses of the artist's private life and work. Stars like Karl Lagerfeld and Catherine Deneuve recount what it was like to work with one of the most sought-after photographers of the 20th century." 


Helmut Newton: My LIfe

"Helmut Newton was one of the most renowned and controversial fashion photographers of the past half-century. His shocking mix of chic decadence with haute couture changed the look of glossy magazines around the world, while earning him accusations of sexism and perversity. Shortly before his death at age 83, Newton collaborated with documentary filmmaker Gero von Boehm on this humorous and revealing biographical profile. In Monte Carlo, Los Angeles and Berlin, Newton talks about his life, influences and unquenchable obsession with photography."