Lou Stoumen

BirthplaceSpringtown, PA
CitizenshipUnited States
Cultural HeritageEuropean-American




Photographer Lou Stoumen lived in Los Angeles and taught film production, screen writing and aspects of photography at UCLA.

His clear, simple and eloquent description of the celebration of ordinary life maked his work among the most memorable in contemporary photography. Over the years Stoumen pioneered unique forms with his photographs and writing. In 1939 he published 'Speech for the Young', a book of 50 photographs and 12 poems. He described the combination of words and pictures as 'paper movies'. Stoumen wrote, 'words and photographs well brought together, not as captions or illustrations but in counterpoint, sometimes can transmute into a new creation... when you creatively combine words with pictures, you can end up with a work more powerful than the sum of its parts.' Stoumen continued working with words and photographs to create the motion picture 'The True Story of the Civil War'. He made the entire film from the still photographs of Matthew Brady and Co.,creating a footnote in film history by his exclusive use of still photography.

Stoumen won two Academy Awards, published numerous works of poetry, fiction, criticism, screenplays and 'paper movies'. His photographs have been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Friends of Photography in California and The International Center of Photography among others. His photographs are also included in numerous public and private collections.