Val Telberg (born Vladimir Telberg-von-Teleheim on February 14, 1910 in Moscow, Russian Empire; died 1995, Southampton, New York) was a Russian Empire-born American artist best known for his photomontages.


His family moved to China in 1918 and he spent most of his youth there.[1] He received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Wittenberg College in 1932.[1] He returned to China, but would emigrate to the United States in 1938.[1]

He studied painting at the Art Student's League, New York, in 1942, where he was exposed to the surrealism movement and experimental film-making. It was here he met his future first wife, Kathleen Lambing (more famous as Kathleen Haven, the name she took after her second marriage), who taught him photography.[1][2]

For his first professional job in photography, Telberg was a portrait photographer, taking portraits of nightclub patrons in Florida and later Massachusetts.[3][1] In 1945, he returned to New York and began to create photomontages through double exposure; many of these images had a surreal, dreamlike quality.[3] In 1948, the Brooklyn Museum of Art held an exhibition of the photomontage works he produced with his wife.[4]

In 1987, he had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.[5] His work is held by the Museum of Modern Art,[6] the J. Paul Getty Museum,[7] the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,[8] and the Whitney Museum of American Art.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hostetler, Lisa (2018-06-10). "Val Telberg". International Center of Photography. Retrieved 2022-01-13. Cites: Handy et al. Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection, New York: Bulfinch Press in association with the International Center of Photography, 1999, p. 229.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ a b "Val Telberg | Portrait of Kathleen Haven". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 2022-01-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Ogard, Anita. "Val Telberg". Museum of New Mexico. Archived from the original on 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  4. ^ "Photographs by Kathleen & Vladimir Telberg-von-Teleheim: Surrealistic Photography (Press Release)". Brooklyn Museum. 1948. Retrieved 2022-01-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Val Telberg: Recent Works in Photomontage". Museum of Contemporary Photography. Retrieved 2022-01-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Val Telberg. Seine. 1952-54". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2022-01-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Val Telberg (American, born Russia, 1910 - 1995)". The J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles. Retrieved 2022-01-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Telberg, Val". SFMOMA. Retrieved 2022-01-13.

External links