A new photobook, released to coincide with an exhibition at Paris' Maison Européenne de la Photographie, charts the career of June Newton AKA Alice Springs.
Alice Springs: The Paris MEP Show collects Springs' work across various genres, but places a particular emphasis on portraiture. Subjects include the director Claude Charbol, the author Graham Greene, the artist Man Ray, the photographers Sebastian Salgado and Jacques Henri Lartigue and the actor Audrey Hepburn, among many others.
Born in Melbourne in 1923 as June Browne, the artist known as Alice Springs began her career as an actor. When she answered a call for models in 1947, she met the seminal fashion photographer Helmut Newton. The next year, they were married, and remained so until Helmut's tragic death in 2014. Many of Springs' photos feature Newton, often alongside an illustrious array of personages or his own modelling subjects.
Springs took up photography in 1970 after filing in for her flu-stricken husband on a Gitanes shoot. She soon became a significant force behind the camera herself, eventually transiting from fashion work to portraits and depictions of the California punk and hip hop scenes.
Helmut Newton held his partner in the utmost respect. "I don't know anyone else," he said, "who takes the same kind of portraits. No doubt there are great portraitists today whose work is more weighty, but hers seem to have a unique quality. Her pictures of people are totally innocent."