Works by Flip Schulke at Sotheby's
Flip Schulke Biography
The Civil Rights photojournalist and artist Flip Schulke (1930 – 2008) balances American charm and conflict with sharp photorealism. Schulke began their career in photography as a professor at the University of Miami but is best known for their freelance work. They found their success in portrait photography, in which they captured pop cultural icons including John F. Kennedy and Muhammad Ali. Throughout his experimentation with the medium, he popularized the use of underwater photography. So much so, that Schulke was invited to travel internationally with the celebrity marine biologist, Jacques Cousteau, to document sea life. Schulke’s pop art portfolio would be featured in Life, National Geographic, and Ebony magazines multiple times.
In the 1960s, Schulke began to represent the artistic vanguard of the United States Civil Rights movement. He documented this period with unique intimacy, possible through his close friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. Schulke’s collection included 11,000 photographs of Dr. King and is now held at the University of Texas. His activism is also celebrated in The Race Beat, a Pulitzer Prize-winning book recounting Schulke and other journalists’ challenges covering the Civil Rights movement. Schulke’s work is a portrait of American life at its most glamorous and contentious, and a brilliant example of the photography medium.