The Australian photographer and actress June Newton, also known by the pseudonym of Alice Springs, the famous author of portraits and fashion shots, died yesterday, Friday 9 April, at her home in Monte Carlo, in the Principality of Monaco, at the age of 97. L’announcement of the disappearance has been given today by the Helmut Newton Foundation of Berlin. She had been the wife of the great German naturalized American photographer Helmut Newton (1920-2004).


She was born as June Browne in Melbourne, Australia, on June 3, 1923. As a young woman she was a great lover of theater and changed her name to June Brunell because there was already another Melbourne actress named June Brown; had received the Erik Kuttner Award for Best Theater Actress in 1956. She married photographer Helmut Newton in Melbourne in 1948 and had become a photographer herself in 1970 in Paris, changing her name back to Alice Springs. Her first job as a photographer was born by chance, to replace her husband who was sick and unable to take photos for an advertisement for Gitanes cigarettes. Her photos have since appeared in many magazines, including “Vanity Fair”, “Interview”, “Elle”, “Vogue” and “Stern”.

Working first as a fashion photographer and then as a portraitist, June Newton has photographed famous people such as William S. Burroughs, Anthony Burgess, Catherine Deneuve, Graham Greene, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christopher Reeve, Diana Vreeland, Yves Saint Laurent, Brigitte Nielsen and Nicole Kidman. Numerous exhibitions have been dedicated to her and she has published many books. June Newton lived in London and Paris and had resided in Monte Carlo for thirty years. Upon her husband’s death, she took over the helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, continuing to work as art-director, editor and curator of Helmut’s work. The couple’s career was told in the book “Helmut Newton and Alice Springs. Us and them” (Taschen, 2016).

She is the author of the book “Mrs. Newton” (Taschen, 2004), where she talks about her life spent now in the shadows, now in the light of her husband Helmut Newton. Alice Springs accompanies the reader through her childhood spent in Australia, up to recent years between Monte Carlo and Los Angeles. The photographs collected are a mix of familiar images and portraits of celebrities, where the environments and houses are all memorable. The narrative style is simple, ironic and honest with countless anecdotes and curiosities.

of Paolo Martini

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