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Karl Struss Photographs

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Dec 1996

Biographical History

Karl Struss (1886-1981) was an American photographer and Academy Award-winning cinematographer. Born in New York, New York, Struss studied photography with Clarence H. White and belonged to Alfred Stieglitz's "291" photo-pictorialist group. By 1914 his photographs were appearing regularly in popular magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar. In 1919 he moved to Los Angeles where he took a job as a cameraman for Cecil B. DeMille. Over his career he worked on more than one hundred films, including Ben Hur, Coquette (Mary Pickford's first sound film), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, D.W. Griffith's Abraham Lincoln, Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 1927.

Struss was very interested in what was then called "stereo cinematography," what would today be called "3-D movies." Much of his work in this media was done in Italy (he also did regular 2-D films there, including one with Sophia Loren) and not released in the United States.

Struss was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Stereo Division of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) and the Stereo Club of Southern California (SCSC).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Karl Struss Photographs consists of four images, including one silver print of actress Claire Windsor (1897-1972) and two silver bromide prints of actress Bebe Daniels (1901-1971). The Daniels portraits are from the 1921 Cecil B. DeMille picture Affairs with Anatol. Struss worked with Alvin Wyckoff on the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation production based on the Arthur Schnitzler play Anatol.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Daniels, Bebe, 1901-1971.
Struss, Karl, 1886-1981.
Windsor, Claire.


Actresses -- Photographs.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Karl Struss Photographs,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of John and Susan Edwards Harvith, 1995, 1996.

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