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HomeContentsThemes > LIFE magazine


519.01   Photo-essays in LIFE magazine
519.02   Margaret Bourke-White: Fort Peck Dam
519.03   W. Eugene Smith: The Spanish Village (1951)
519.04   W. Eugene Smith: Man of Mercy (1954)
519.05   LIFE magazine photographers
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated. 
Status: Collect > Document > Analyse > Improve
519.01   Photojournalism >  Photo-essays in LIFE magazine 
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In the first issue of LIFE magazine (Vol.1 No.1, 23 November 1936) there was a photo-essay by Margaret Bourke-White on Franklin Roosevelt has a Wild West dealing with the community of Fort Peck in Montana (USA) and a work-relief project building an earthen dam.
Within a single photo-essay all the photographs were taken by a single photographer and told a multi-level story - they could use interior, exterior, day, night and aerial shots - the key was to bring together a coherent view of a subject that the reader could relate to. The first issue of LIFE sold out the entire 466,000 run and within a year the magazine had a circulation of over a million.
LIFE magazine excelled in this and produced many of the greatest photo-essays ever produced including:  
519.02   Photojournalism >  Margaret Bourke-White: Fort Peck Dam 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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The editors for the first issue of LIFE magazine (Nov. 23, 1936) selected the photo-essay "Building the Fort Peck Dam" by Margaret Bourke-White explaining it in the following way:
"If any Charter Subscriber is surprised by what turned out to be the first story in this first issue of LIFE, he is not nearly so surprised as [we] were. Photographer Margaret Bourke-White had been dispatched to the Northwest to photograph the multimillion dollar projects of the Columbia River Basin. What the editors expected were construction pictures as only Bourke-White can take them. What the editors got was a human document of American frontier life which, to them at least, was a revelation."
A photograph from this series was used on the front cover of LIFE
519.03   Photojournalism >  W. Eugene Smith: The Spanish Village (1951) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Magnum photographer W.Eugene Smith (LIFE, 9 April 1951) 
519.04   Photojournalism >  W. Eugene Smith: Man of Mercy (1954) 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
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Magnum photographer W. Eugene Smith went to document the charitable work of Dr. Albert Schweitzer. In the photography Stockade for the Insane It is what we do not see that scares us the most - in the 1954 photo reportage Man of Mercy by W. Eugene Smith on Albert Schweitzer that was published in LIFE magazine the caption explains but what remains unseen is left entirely to our imagination. 
519.05   Photojournalism >  LIFE magazine photographers 
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Slideshow (Be patient as this has 47 slides to load.) 
It has been estimated that in the over eighteen hundred issues of LIFE magazine about two thousand photo-essays were published (Maitland Edey Great Photographic Essays from LIFE Boston, New York Graphic Society 1978).
Many talented photographers worked for LIFE magazine including:
In 1957 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of LIFE the book LIFE photographers: Their Careers and Favorite Pictures was published and the indicated photographers were included in it. What is interesting in retrospect is that the photographers who produced what would later be regarded as some of the key photo essays W. Eugene Smith and Henri Cartier-Bresson were not included. 
   Portrait LIFE Photographers 
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HomeContents > Further research

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General reading 
Edey, Maitland, 1978, Great Photographic Essays from LIFE, (Boston: New York Graphic Society) isbn-10: 0821207423 isbn-13: 978-0821207420 [Δ
Rayfield, Stanley, 1957, LIFE photographers: Their Careers and Favorite Pictures, (Doubleday) [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
Margaret Bourke-White 
Callahan, Sean (ed.), 1975, The Photographs of Margaret Bourke-White, (Boston: New York Graphic Society) [Δ
Goldberg, Vicki, 1986, Margaret Bourke-White: A Biography, (New York: Harper and Row) [Δ
Alfred Eisenstaedt 
Eisenstaedt, Alfred, 1985, Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt: A Self-Portrait, (New York: Abbeville Press) [Introduction by Peter Adam] [Δ
Ernst Haas 
Haas, Ernst, 1953, 14 September, ‘Images of a Magic City, Part I‘, LIFE, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 108-120 [New York] [Δ
Haas, Ernst, 1953, 21 September, ‘Images of a Magic City, Part II‘, LIFE, vol. 35, no. 12, pp. 116-126 [New York] [Δ
Haas, Ernst, 1953, 5 October, ‘Images of a Magic City‘, LIFE (International edition), vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 36-48 [New York] [Δ
Carl Mydans 
Mydans, Carl, 2002, Carl Mydans: Photojournalist, (Harry N. Abrams) isbn-10: 0810913232 isbn-13: 978-0810913233 [Δ
Gordon Parks 
Kunhardt, Peter & Roth, Paul (eds.), 2012, Gordon Parks: Collected Works, (Steidl / The Gordon Parks Foundation) isbn-13: 978-3869305301 [Five volumes] [Δ
Parks, Gordon, 2014, Gordon Parks: Segregation Story, (Steidl) isbn-13: 978-3869308012 [Foreword by Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., Brett Abbott. Introduction by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Text by Maurice Berger.] [Δ
John Phillips 
Phillips, John, 1985, It Happened in Our Lifetime: A memoir in words and pictures, (Little, Brown) isbn-10: 0316706094 isbn-13: 978-0316706094 [Δ
W. Eugene Smith 
Johnson, William S. (ed.), 1981, W. Eugene Smith: Master of the Photographic Essay, (Millerton, NY: Aperture) [Δ
Maddow, B., 1985, Let Truth Be the Prejudice, W. Eugene Smith, His Life and Photographs, (Millerton, NY: Aperture) [Δ
Smith, W. Eugene, 1993, W. Eugene Smith: His Photographs and Notes, (New York: Aperture) [Δ
Willumson, Glenn G, 1992, W. Eugene Smith and the Photographic Essay, (New York: Cambridge University Press) [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 

HomeContentsPhotographers > Photographers worth investigating

Ansel Adams  (1902-1984) • Harry Benson • Margaret Bourke-White  (1904-1971) • James Burke • Cornell Capa  (1918-2008) • Robert Capa  (1913-1954) • Ed Clark • Ralph Crane • Loomis Dean  (1917-2005) • John Dominis  (1921-) • Alfred Eisenstaedt  (1898-1995) • Eliot Elisofon  (1911-1973) • Andreas Feininger  (1906-1999) • Fritz Goro  (1901-1986) • Marie Hansen  (1918-1969) • Dmitri Kessel  (1902-1995) • Dorothea Lange  (1895-1965) • Clarence John Laughlin  (1905-1985) • John Loengard • Hansel Mieth  (1909-1998) • Gjon Mili  (1904-1984) • Ralph Morse  (1917-2014) • Carl Mydans  (1907-2004) • Gordon Parks  (1912-2006) • John Phillips  (1914-1996) • Arthur Rickerby • George Silk  (1916-) • W. Eugene Smith  (1918-1978) • Peter Stackpole
HomeThemesPhotojournalismMagazines and photojournalism - Example > LIFE magazine 
A wider gaze

HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > LIFE magazine

Please submit suggestions for Online Exhibitions that will enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailPhotojournalism - Rise of the Picture Magazine 
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Released (April 1, 2012)
ThumbnailPortrait: LIFE Photographers 
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Released (April 1, 2009)

HomeVisual indexes > LIFE magazine

Please submit suggestions for Visual Indexes to enhance this theme.
Alan -

ThumbnailMargaret Bourke-White: Fort Peck Dam 
About this photographer | Photographs by this photographer 
ThumbnailPublications: Illustrated magazines: Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung 
ThumbnailPublications: Illustrated magazines: LIFE 
ThumbnailPublications: Illustrated magazines: Picture Post 
   Still thinking about these... 
ThumbnailRobert Silvers: Life - Photomosaic 
Refreshed: 17 January 2015, 18:06
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