William Klein came to Paris on the back of the US Allied liberation of 45 and decided to stay, marrying the "most beautiful girl in the city". Studying under Fernand Leger at the Sorbonne in 48. he published the photobook "Life is Good and Good for You in New York ",in Paris when no US publisher would touch it, and in 1956 won the Prix Nadar. For ten years, from 1955 - 65, he worked for Vogue, shooting his models out on the street or on real location. In 1965 he abandoned photography to make films. First with the short 12 minute "Broadway by Light" (1958), then as artistic consultant on Louis Malle's "Zazie dans le Metro". In 1966 he debuted full length with "Who are you Polly Magoo" satirizing everything in mid Sixties French society that wasn't nailed down -- politics, fashion, the media, idealization of rural life and French traditions, while taking frequent detours into fantasy animation sequences. In 1967 he collaborated with Jean Luc Godard, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais and Agnes Varda in "Loin du Vietnam" showing his sympathies for the North Vietnamese. Then came "Mister Freedom".

William Klein went on to direct, "Muhammad Ali, The Greatest" (1969) Eldridge Cleaver (1970) The Little Richard Story (1980) and many others. In the mid 80's he took up the camera again and in 1999 was awarded the 'medal of the century' by the royal photographic society' in London. Currently he lives and works in Paris. His exhibition of photographs at the Centre Pompidou finishes February 2006


Solo exhibitions

Centre Pompidou, Paris 2005/6
Grand Manege, Moscow, 1999
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999
Fnac, Paris, 1999
Jane Jackson Gallery, Atlanta, USA, 1999
Pushkin Museum, Moscow, 1997
Saint-Gervais Center, Geneva, Switzerland, 1997
National Foundation, Madrid, Spain, 1997
Deichtor Hallen, Hamburg, Germany, 1997
Howard Green Gallery and 292, New York, 1996
Caixa Foundation, Barcelona, Spain, 1996
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA, 1996
Maison Europeene De La Photographie, Paris, 1996
Museum Of Modern Art, San Francisco, 1995
Fnac, Paris, Marseille And Travelling, 1995
Zabriskie, Paris, 1994
Hamiltons, London, 1994
International Center of Photography (Icp) New York, 1994
Presidential Palace, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1994
Printemps De La Photo, Cahors, 1993
Morsbroich Museum, Leverkasen, 1993
Beaux Arts, Almeria, Spain, 1992
Howard Greenberg, New York, 1992
Stadts Museum, Munich, Germany, 1992
Hamiltons, London, 1991
Exposure Gallery, Parco, Tokyo, 1991
Hasselslad Center, Göteborg, Sweden, 1990
National Library, Turin, Italy, 1990
Volkwang Museum, Essen, Germany, 1990
Zabriskie, New York, 1990
Finnish Film Archives, Helsinki, Finland, 1989
Photographers' Gallery, London, 1989
Museum Of Moving Images, London, 1989
Musée d'Elysée, Lausanne, France, 1988
Osaka Museum, Osaka, Japan, 1988
Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany, 1988
Museum Of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California, USA, 1987
Printemps Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, 1987
Museum Of Modern Art, Paris, 1987
Victoria And Albert Museum, London, 1986
Fotofest, Houston, Texas, USA, 1986
Corloran Gallery, Washington, USA, 1985
3 Castles In Drome, France, 1985
Municipal Galleries, Zagreb And Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1984
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1983
Municipal Gallery, Albi, France, 1982
International Festival, Malmö, 1982
Light Gallery, New York, 1981
Zabriskie, Paris, 1981
American Centre, Paris, 1981
Moma, New York, 1980
National Foundation of Photography, Lyon, France, 1979


Willaim Klein, Agfa-Erfurth Press, Braus Edition, Heidelberg, 1993
Torino 90, photographs and design by William Klein. Text by Guy Mandery, Frederico Motta, Milan, Italy, 1990
Close Up, text, photographs and design by William Klein, Braus Edition, Heidelberg; Thames & Hudson, London, Paris, New York, 1989
The Films of William Klein, text by Bruce Jenkins and Johnathan Rosenbaum, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1988
William Klein, Pacific Press service, Tokyo, 1987
William Klein; 'photo-poche', text by Christian Caujole, Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, 1985
William Klein, text by Carole Nagger, photographs and design by William Klein, Centres Georges Pompidou, Editions Herscher, Paris, 1983
William Klein, text by Alain Jouffroy, Editions Fabbri, 'I Grandi Fotogrfi', and Editions Filipacchi, Paris, 1982
William Klein: Photographs, etc., text by John Heilpern, Aperture, New York, 1981
New York 54-55, portfolio, text by Alain Jouffroy, Paris, JM Bustamante, and Bernard saint-Genès, 1978
Mister Freedom, screenplay, photographs by Jürgen Vollmar, Jeanne and William Klein. Editions Eric Losfeld, Paris, 1970
Moscow, text, photographs and layout by William Kein, Zokeisha Publications, Tokyo; Silvana, Milan; Editions Delpire, Paris; Crown, New York, 1964
Tokyo, text, photographs and layout by William Klein, Zokeisha Publications, Tokyo; Silvana, Milan; Die Zeit, Hamburg; Editions Delpire, Paris; Crown, New York, 1964
Rome, text, photographs and layout by William Klein, Editions du Seuil, Paris; Feltrinelli, Milan, 1958-1959
New York, text, photographs and layout by William Klein, Editions du Seuil, Paris; Feltrinelli, Milan; Vista Books, London, 1956


William Klein Biography / Designboom
William Klein / Eyestorm
William Klein / Parisvoice
William Klein / Centre Pompidou
William Klein "New York"



Mister Freedom - William Klein - Jimi Tenor - Press - Photos