Henry B. Goodwin

Photographer Henry B. Goodwin (born Heinrich Karl Hugo Bürgel) is considered one of the most influential Pictorialist photographers from the Nordics. Goodwin moved to Sweden from Germany to work as a philologist and lexicographer in the early 1900s, but started to take portraits of colleagues and family in photographic styles very unfamiliar to what Swedes were used to.

Rather than shooting just for documentary purposes or to show the “what” of an object or subject, Goodwin would experiment with angles, lightning and sharpness to create painting-like photographs. Together with an enormous drive and a knack for marketing, Goodwin would become a popular photographer for celebrity photography and beyond. Goodwin would also photograph images very similar to the street photography of today, focusing on spontaneous shots of the people in Stockholm.

Until his death in 1931, Goodwin was a strong advocate for photography as an art form. He was a writer, debater, and critic that used his cultural position to introduce international photo art to the Nordics— and vice versa.