Peter Sekaer

1901–1950

Peter Sekaer was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1901 and emigrated to New York at age seventeen. After a short stay in Canada, Sekaer returned to New York, where he started a graphics business. He began attending the Art Students League in 1929 where he met the artist Ben Shahn and studied with George Grosz and Hans Hoffman. In 1934 Sekaer studied photography with Berenice Abbott at the New School for Social Research and met Walker Evans, who hired him to print his photographs of African Art for the Museum of Modern Art in 1935. Sekaer accompanied Evans on a trip to the New Orleans and other parts of the Southeastern United States in 1936 while Evans was employed as a photographer for the Resettlement Administration. Sekaer was hired as principal photographer for the Rural Electrification Administration in 1936 and was loaned by the agency to work for the United States Housing Authority (USHA) in 1938. After brief stints with the FSA, OWI and American Red Cross, Sekaer left Government service in 1944 and worked as a commercial photographer until his untimely death in 1950. A major retrospective of his work opened at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta in June, 2010.

Bowling Green, Virginia (Ice cream shop), ca. 1935. Vintage gelatin silver print.  Image measures 2 1/4 x 3 1/4  inches. Inventory #PS0696.
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Untitled, ca. 1936–1940. Vintage gelatin silver print.  Image measures 6 x 5 1/4 inches. Inventory #PS0714.
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Pittsburgh: Scene in Heinz's Alley, 1938. Vintage gelatin silver print. United States Housing Authority credit stamp and date stamped August 19, 1938 on back. Image measures 7 1/2 x 9 3/8 inches. Inventory #PS0004.
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Untitled, Washington D. C. for U.S. Housing Authority, 1938. Vintage gelatin silver print. Image measures 7 1/2 x 9 3/8 inches. Inventory #PS0031
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New Orleans: A Backyard, 1938.Vintage gelatin silver print. Image measures 7 x 9 1/2 inches. Inventory #PS0014
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