1911 | Chicago·IL · USA
Hy Hirsh worked at Columbia Studios as editor, cameraman and still photographer from 1930-1936 in order to support himself while developing a reputation as an art photographer. He worked as a WPA photographer from 1936-37, eventually becoming official photographer for the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. During this time he presented numerous one-man photography exhibitions.
In 1955, Hirsh moved to Europe, working in Spain, Holland (at the puppet animation studio Dollywood), and France on advertising films, as well as producing photographs for Elle, Realities, Vanity Fair and other glossy magazines. When he died suddenly of a heart attack, police found hashish in his possession and commandeered his estate. His belongings were released three years later, with a number of his films missing, and some only preserved as single used projection copies. The presence of his films at the Creative Film Society in Los Angeles after 1965 proved a seminal influence on emerging filmmakers Pat O'Neill, William Moritz and Chick Strand.