Long before #catsofinstagram and Internet sensations like Grumpy Cat (RIP) and Lil Bub, New York-based photographer Walter Chandoha was capturing the hearts of the public with his photos of feline friends. His huge archive is believed to include more than 90,000 photographs of cats, many of which appeared on greeting cards, magazines, and pet food packaging across the U.S. for more than 50 years. In celebration of his prolific career, Taschen recently released a book, titled Cats, featuring of 300 of his most celebrated images taken between 1942–2018.
Chandoha began his career as a combat photographer during the Second World War and an art director postwar, but it was a chance encounter with a kitten during a winter’s night in New York City during 1949 that ignited his lifelong passion for photographing his fluffy subjects. Chandoha adopted the kitten and named him Loco, but little did he know his new pet would become his muse and determine the rest of his career.
“I relished the challenge of making photographs of cats and quickly saw the potential of attempting to capture their naturally expressive personalities,” Chandoha writes in his foreword to the book, just before he died earlier this year at the age of 98.
The Cats book is now available to purchase on Amazon.
In celebration of Walter Chandoha’s prolific career, Taschen recently released a book, aptly titled Cats, featuring of 300 of his most celebrated cat photos taken between 1942–2018.
My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Walter Chandoha / Taschen.
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