Issue #250  5/13/2019
California Photo Dealer Louis Klaitman Passes away from Heart Congestion

By Alex Novak

Louis Klaitman
Louis Klaitman

Louis Klaitman, a longtime photo dealer based in Berkeley, CA, passed away on March 28th from heart congestion due to complications from an earlier stroke.

Klaitman originally had a novelties business in Baltimore, MD, but about 30 years ago he became interested in photography, first as a collector and then as a dealer. He later moved to California after he sold his original business. Before he had moved to California, he had partnered with his friend Dr. Bernard Liberman in a company called Louis/Bernard Fine Art Photography. Later he worked alone, but often splitting booths with fellow dealers like San Francisco photo dealer Robert Tat. Klaitman was a fixture at the West Coast photo fairs, such as Photo LA and Photo SF, specializing in Horst photographs. Louis leaves behind his wife of many years Supannika.

I knew Louis for most of the time he was in photography. He was a dear friend, and we would keep in touch by phone over the last few years after his stroke. It was difficult for him to speak, but for a while he seemed to be making progress, although I could tell he was frustrated with the slow pace. He was truly one of the nicest people that I've had the pleasure to become friends with through photography.