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First Large-Scale U.S. Exhibition of Helmut Newton's Work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Helmut Newton, Here They Come II, Paris. From the series Big Nudes, 1981, chromogenic print. Collection of the Estate of Helmut Newton © Estate of Helmut Newton.
HOUSTON, TX (AP).- An exhibit of works by world-renowned fashion photographer Helmut Newton opening Sunday in Houston includes all of the photographs from his first three books.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston said in a news release that "Helmut Newton: White Women, Sleepless Nights, Big Nudes" is the first large-scale U.S. exhibition of Newton's work. The exhibit takes its name from the titles of the first three books: "White Women" from 1976, "Sleepless Nights" from 1978 and "Big Nudes" from 1982.

More than 200 photographs from the books will be on display through Sept. 25. The prints that will be displayed were made specifically for the exhibit. They're large-scale, with some as big as 8 by 8 feet.

"Helmut Newton's images moved beyond the accepted standard of how females could be portrayed, and many women found their own sexuality empowered by his work," Anne Tucker, the museum's photography curator, said in a statement. "His distinct, risque photographs present what were, arguably, the world's most beautiful models in a range of personalities."

The museum said Newton's widow, June, originally came up with the idea for the exhibit and Manfred Heiting, an Amsterdam-based collector and friend of the Newtons, organized it along with Tucker.

"I always wanted to show the man behind the camera, and I believe this exhibition succeeds perfectly," Heiting said in a statement.

Helmut Newton, whose work appeared in magazines including Playboy, Elle and Vogue, is best known for his stark, black-and-white nude photos of women. He died at the age of 83 in 2004 after a car crash in Los Angeles.

Newton, who was Jewish, was born in Berlin in 1920. He fled his native country at age 18 for Singapore in December 1938, a month after the Nazis' Kristallnacht anti-Semitic pogrom. He eventually settled in Australia and became a citizen, where he opened a small photography studio and changed his last name to Newton from Neustaedter.

Eventually, he took up residence in Monte Carlo, but spent winters in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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