Australian portrait photographer June Newton dies at 97

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June Newton

FILE – In this Friday March 23, 2012 file photo,June Newton, widow of late fashion photographer Helmut Newton, holds a news conference at the opening of Helmut Newton’s first retrospective in France at Paris’ Grand Palais museum. The Australian photographer and actress June Newton, also known under her pseudonym Alice Springs, has died at age 97, the Helmut Newton Foundation said Saturday in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

BERLIN (AP) — The Australian photographer and actress June Newton — also known under her pseudonym Alice Springs — has died at 97, the Helmut Newton Foundation said Saturday in Berlin.

Newton, who was also the wife of the late photographer Helmut Newton, died Friday in her home in Monte Carlo. The cause of death was not given.

“We mourn the loss of an outstanding person and internationally recognized photographer,” the foundation wrote on its website.

Newton, who was born as June Browne in Melbourne, Australia in 1923, trained as an actor and often performed under her stage name June Brunell, the foundation said.

In 1947, she met Helmut Newton, a German-Jewish photographer who had fled the Nazis and who had just set up a photo studio in Melbourne. They got married a year later and were together until the 83-year-old Helmut Newton died in a car accident in Los Angeles in 2004.

In 1970, after having moved to Paris with her husband, Newton started her own career as a photographer under the pseudonym Alice Springs and soon became a well-regarded artist herself focusing on portraits.

“Alice Springs does more than document the appearance of celebrities and anonymous contemporaries; she captures their charisma, their aura,” the foundation said, describing her work. “Her eye for people is mostly concentrated on people’s faces.”

The couple had several shows around the globe. In 1978, she had her first solo exhibition of portraits in Amsterdam, followed by further international shows.

“The roster of artists, actors and musicians depicted by Alice Springs over the last 40 years reads like a who’s who of the international cultural scene on both sides of the Atlantic,” the foundation said. “Many portraits were magazine assignments from Paris to Los Angeles; others resulted from private initiative.”

In 1981, the couple moved to Monte Carlo. After her husband’s death, Newton opened the The Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, which her husband had established a few months before his death. Until her death, she was the president of the museum, which has become an important location for contemporary photography shows.

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