The National Portrait Gallery is showcasing the works of the Daily News photographer Harry Warnecke in a collection they are calling ‘In Vibrant Color’. Warnecke was the lead at the Daily News color photo studio and is credited in convincing the Daily News to invest in expensive technology that introduced color photography to the national audience. At the time, the tricolor process was so rare that Warnecke was forced to build his own camera, which used filters to separate images into the red, blue, and green pigments, creating the bold color we see in his photographs.
The collection showcases some of the cultural icon’s of the 1930’s and 40’s. Dale Evans, Louis Armstrong, Orson Welles and Dwight Eisenhower were just a few of the subjects Warnecke was able to capture. His photos used color, rather than the black and white contrast that most photographers of his era were focusing on. By pushing the ‘needle’ and expanding into color photography, Warnecke was to capture the true spirt of America.