Maurice Tabard French, 1897-1984
Avant-garde photographer Maurice Tabard (born in Lyon) experimented with a number of techniques, including solarization, double exposure, and photomontage. Tabard's father, a silk manufacturer and amateur photographer, left France with his son in 1914 to work in the silk mills of Paterson, New Jersey. The young Tabard worked as a silk designer during the day and studied painting at night. A few years later the Tabards moved to New York City, where Maurice studied briefly at the New York Institute of Photography.
In 1922 Tabard joined the staff of the Bachrach Studio as a portrait photographer and worked in a number of cities, including Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Cincinnati. Six years later he returned to France, establishing himself in Paris as a freelance portrait, fashion, and advertising photographer. During these years he became associated with Man Ray and René Magritte and began experimenting with solarization and double exposure. In 1929 his photographs were included in the Film und Foto exhibition of avant-garde photography and film in Stuttgart; four years later, his article "Notes on Solarization" appeared in Arts et Métiers Graphiques.
Throughout the 1930s-50s Tabard continued to produce his own experimental work while pursuing various commercial jobs for Deberny-Peignot publishers, Pathó Films, Gaumont Films, the French government, Harper's Bazaar in Europe and the United States, and Paul Linwood Gittings Studio, New York, and worked as a freelance photographer from 1948-65. In the mid-1960s he retired from photography and in 1980 moved to Nice.
Over the years Tabard's work was included in numerous exhibitions, including Modern European Photography at the Julian Levy Gallery, New York (1932), Photographic Surrealism at the New Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (1979), and L'Amour Fou: Photography and Surrealism at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (1985). M.M.