Marian Schmidt (b. 1945) is a Polish photographer and founder of the humanist photography renewal in Poland. He is considered by many - next to Henri Cartier-Bresson - as a master of image composition. He believes that the most important content in photography is visual poetry and transcendence, thus his admiration for Edouard Boubat and Paul Caponigro.
Born in Żyardów he spent his childhood in Venezuela. He went to the US to study mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley and later at Brandeis University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1969. He resigned from an academic and research career to devote himself to photography and films. He also studied phenomenology of music with the conductor Sergiu Celibidache in France in the 1980’s.
He considers that spiritual development and a pure way of seeing, without intelectual interferences, are essential for a photographer to express visual poetry. He acknowledges Jiddu Krishnamurti and Hermann Hesse as the greatest influences on his life and creative work.
He has extensively travelled in three continents.
He is the author of three books: “Hommes de science”, Ed. Hermann, Paris 1990; “Marian Schmidt” (introduction by Edouard Boubat), Cercle d’art, Paris 1994; “Unusual conversations with Father Jan Twardowski”, Prószyński i s-ka, Warsaw 2000.
He has had over sixty prestigious photographic exhibitions in New York, Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Zurich, Charleroi. Venice, Solms, Dresden, Fort-de-France, Knokke-Heist, Warsaw, Kraków, Gdańsk, Poznań, Szczecin, Katowice, Bielsko-Biała and in his home town of Żyardów. His photographs are in the collections of museums, institutions and private collectors in Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Switzerland and the United States.
He lived in the US and France where he worked for the photo agencies Black Star and Rapho. He now lives in Poland. He is a lecturer and the director of the Warsaw School of Photography. He also taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań and at the National Film School in Łódż where he obtained his habilitation in artistic photography in 2002.
All images © Marian Schmidt