Monday, September 27, 2010


 Cafe in Pikesville, Tennessee, 1936 (for the Farm Security Administration)

Monroe Gallery of Photography is pleased to announce "Carl Mydans: The Early Years”. (Carl Mydans: May 20, 1907 – August 16, 2004) The exhibition opens with a reception Friday, October 1, 5 - 7 PM, and continues through November 21.

Born in Massachusetts, near Boston, in 1907, Mydans’ keen sensitivity and honesty compelled him toward a lifetime of social and historical documentary photography. After working for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, he joined the photographic staff of the Farm Security Administration in 1936. The FSA, as it was familiarly known, was a New Deal agency established during the Great Depression by Franklin Roosevelt designed to combat rural poverty during a period when the agricultural climate and national economy were causing great dislocations in rural life. The photographers who worked under the name of the FSA were hired on for public relations; they were supposed to provide visual evidence that there was need, and that the FSA programs were meeting that need. Roy Stryker, who Mydans described as one of the most important influences in his life, headed the FSA. Stryker hired Mydans, along with several other photographers who were also later to become legendary, such as Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein, to document the conditions of people and their surroundings most affected by the Depression.

The Nation's Capitol viewed from a nearby slum area, Washington, DC (for the Farm Security Administration)

“My very first period, when I was photographing with the FSA, I consider to be my most meaningful body of work. Before that, I didn’t know what America really was. I learned who the people were, what they thought, what they did, what they read and what they cooked and ate. There are some things that come back to me, and when I see a farmer tilling his rice in Asia, there’s something about that Asian farmer that carries me back to our own American farmers in 1936. In a word, that experience I had working with the FSA, in 1936 and 1937, gave me a greater feeling for America, and from that a greater feeling for the people of the world.” – Carl Mydans, 1997  
Brick carrier at model community planned by the Suburban Division of the U.S. Resettlement Administration, Greenbelt, Maryland, 1936 (for the Farm Security Administration)

Featured in the exhibition is a rare and distinct collection of limited-edition prints from the FSA archives, specially selected from a large body of his work that is owned by the United States government. These prints were all made in by Mydans in1993 from his original negatives, which he borrowed from the Library of Congress. Each of the FSA photographs were signed by Mr. Mydans, and each image is limited to a total edition of between just six and fifteen examples.

After 16 months with the government, Mydans joined LIFE magazine as a staff photographer in 1936, just after the inaugural issue. Included in the exhibition are rare early vintage prints from the archives of LIFE magazine - the actual prints used for early LIFE magazine stories, with important archive information inscribed and stamped on the back of each photograph. Together with the FSA photographs, they provide a humanitarian and emotional record of this turbulent time in American history, an integral element to their lasting appeal over 70 years later.

Over four decades, Mydans carried out the full gamut of typical Life stories, from Hollywood celebrities to Texas cattle roundups, but his most important assignment, starting with the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939, was as a war photographer. Resourceful, determined and unruffled, Mr. Mydans managed to send back pictures of combat that even now define how we remember World War II, Korea and other conflicts. He photographed major news and feature stories in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Mydans reported on the Russo-Finnish winter war, Italy under Mussolini, and the fall of France. When war erupted in Europe, Mydans and his wife, LIFE researcher Shelley Smith, became the magazine’s first husband and wife team to be sent overseas. Constantly traveling, Mydans’ assignments took him to Britain, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, China, Malaya, and the Philippines, where he and his wife were captured by the Japanese. Released after being held prisoner of war for two years, Mydans was sent back into war in 1944, eventually covering the stoic figure of General MacArthur landing at Luzon. This famous image eloquently captures the pride and determination of the great commander and stands in dramatic contrast to the sense of shame and resignation expressed in the photographs he made of the Japanese surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri from the same year.

Daughter of migrant workes near Raymondville, Texas, 1937 (vintage print)

“As a storyteller in pictures, the photojournalist is looking not only for action but for substance. He is a historian and a sociologist. He has created humanity’s first international language, a common imagery for all mankind. And in his pictures, people see themselves with a clarity they never knew before.”--Carl Mydans

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Dancer-turned-photographer Vivian Cherry has been capturing the quirks of New York City for nearly 70 years, and has yet to grow tired of it."

—New York Daily News

New York City is characterized by its sheer diversity, as well as by the substantial level of open-mindedness consistently displayed by its residents making it irresistible to all kinds of people from all walks of life. Centuries of large-scale waves of immigration accompanied by a steady stream of freethinking American migrants have created the archetypal melting pot that it is today.

Photographer Vivian Cherry knows New Yorkers. This is reasonable considering she's been capturing them in their natural habitat for over half a century. One of the last surviving members of the Photo League, a cooperative of photographers that in the 1930s and 40s embraced social realism, Cherry shoots her subjects against the backdrop of the city, combining informal portraiture with gritty cityscapes. Her first powerhouse book, Helluva Town: New York City in the 1940s and 50s, was released to critical acclaim. Now she returns with Vivian Cherry's New York, a collection of work shot in the past decade, in which she continues to present her audience with pictures that are raw and real, while at the same time affectionate and warm.

For a preview of the book please visit:

Vivian Cherry's work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the International Center of Photography; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., amongst others, and has appeared in Popular Photography, Life, Sports Illustrated, Redbook, and Ebony, as well as the famed magazines of yesteryear: This Week, Pageant, Colliers, and Amerika. She made several short films and worked with photographer Arnold Eagle as a still photographer on a film about Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio. The author of Helluva Town: New York City in the 1940s and 50s (powerHouse Books, 2007), Cherry lives and works in New York City.

© Copyright 2010 powerHouse Books

Vivian Cherry at Monroe Gallery of Photography's Booth during the 2010 AIPAD Photography Show

Vivian Cherry's New York

Essay by Julia Van Haaften

Photography / New York City
8.5 x 11.25 inches
114 pages, 100 duotone photographs

Ordering information here.

View a selection of her photography here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Grey Villet: The Little Rock Nine enter classroom to register after escort from Army's 101st Airborne Division, September 254, 1957

Three years after the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision, which officially ended public-school segregation, a federal court ordered the Little Rock High School to comply.

On September 2, 1957, the night before school was to start for the year, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the state's National Guard to surround Little Rock Central High School and prevent any black students from entering in order to protect "citizens and property from possible violence by protesters" he claimed were headed in caravans toward Little Rock.

A federal judge granted an injunction against the Governor's use of National Guard troops to prevent integration and they were withdrawn on September 20.

When school resumed on Monday, September 23, Central High was surrounded by Little Rock policemen. About 1,000 people gathered in front of the school. The police escorted the nine black students to a side door where they quietly entered the building as classes were to begin. When the mob learned the blacks were inside, they began to challenge the police and surge toward the school with shouts and threats. Fearful the police would be unable to control the crowd, the school administration moved the black students out a side door before noon.

U.S. Congressman Brooks Hays and Little Rock Mayor Woodrow Mann asked the federal government for help, first in the form of U.S. marshals. Finally, on September 24, Mann sent a telegram to President Eisenhower requesting troops. They were dispatched that day and the President also federalized the entire Arkansas National Guard, taking it away from the Governor.

On September 25, 1957, nine black students entered the school under the protection of 1,000 members of the "Screaming Eagles" of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army.

The Little Rock Nine, as they nine students came to be known, were a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower, is considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

Little Rock Central High School still functions as part of the Little Rock School District, and is now a National Historic Site that houses a Civil Rights Museum, administered in partnership with the National Park Service, to commemorate the events of 1957.

More: Little Rock Nine Foundation

Related: Little Rock member Jefferson Thomas dies.

Friday, September 24, 2010

55 YEARS AGO: JACKIE ROBINSON STEALS HOME BASE - Game One, The 1955 World Series, NY Yankees vs Brooklyn Dodgers

September 28, 1955 - Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson takes off from third and steals home in one of the most dazzling feats of World Series history! Game One, The 1955 World Series, 8th inning, the Brooklyn Dodgers trailing the Yankees 6 to 4.

Ralph Morse: Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson charging wildy fr. 3rd base as unwary NY Yankee catcher Yogi Berri squats behind Dodger batter during Jackie's steal of home plate in the 8th inning of the 1st game of the World Series at Yankee Stadium ©Time Inc

Grey Villet captured the scene with this series of three photographs:

Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson steals home base against NY Yankees in the 8th inning of the 1st game of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, September 28, 1955

Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson after stealing home base in the 8th inning of the 1st game of the World Series at Yankee Stadium as Yogi Berra argues the call

NY Yankee catcher Yogi Berra arguing with the home plate umpire who is walking away after giving the safe sign to Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson's brilliant steal of home base in the 8th inning

To this day, Yogi Berra will swear that he tagged Jackie Robinson before he touched home plate. The umpire saw it differently. You decide for yourself, but one thing is clear -- Robinson was one of the most exciting players in the history of the game. Watch it here.

The Dodgers won the Series!

Brooklyn Dodger Fans celebrating 1955 World Series victory, Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 1955 by Martha Holmes ©Time Inc

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Paul Schutzer: Kennedy and Nixon Debate with Howard K. Smith as Moderator, September 26, 1960

September 26, 1960 - The first-ever televised presidential debate occurred between presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. On 26 September 1960, 70 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch Senator John Kennedy of Massachusetts and Vice President Richard Nixon in the first-ever televised presidential debate. It was the first of four televised "Great Debates" between Kennedy and Nixon. The Many who watched were inclined to say Kennedy 'won' the debate, while those who listened only to the radio thought Nixon did better. Nixon, who declined to use makeup, appeared somewhat haggard looking on TV in contrast to Kennedy

The Great Debates marked television's grand entrance into presidential politics. They afforded the first real opportunity for voters to see their candidates in competition, and the visual contrast was dramatic. In August, Nixon had seriously injured his knee and spent two weeks in the hospital. By the time of the first debate he was still twenty pounds underweight, his pallor still poor. He arrived at the debate in an ill-fitting shirt, and refused make-up to improve his color and lighten his perpetual "5:00 o'clock shadow." Kennedy, by contrast, had spent early September campaigning in California. He was tan and confident and well-rested. Kennedy's practice of looking at the camera when answering the questions -- and not at the journalists who asked them, as Nixon did -- made viewers see him as someone who was talking directly to them and who gave them straight answers. Kennedy's performance showed not only that he was a knowledgeable and credible elected official, but also that he just plain looked better.

The televised Great Debates had a significant impact on voters in 1960, on national elections since, and, indeed, on our concerns for democracy itself. The debates ushered in an era in which television dominated the electoral process.

John F. Kennedy had learned the power of the image, of the visual, from his father, who was for a time a power in the movie business. Joseph P. Kennedy was the first, or among the first, to merge the creation and marketing of the celebrity trade, the tricks of public relations, to the business of politics and governing. With politics aforethought, the founding father had created an archive—still and moving pictures of his children—ready to be used to entice a nation into a cause in the same way they were pulled into movie theaters. There was one thing President Kennedy always had time for: he would spend hours looking at photographs of himself and his family. That was neither narcissism nor pride to Jack Kennedy, but recognition of polities as a show of fleeting images. In the mostly black-and-white world of the early 1960s, the right picture in the right place duplicating itself forever was worth a great deal more than any thousand words.

Audio/Visual show of the debate here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


©The Eddie Adams Workshop

New York, NY -- The 8th annual Lucie Awards will honor The Eddie Adams Workshop at its Lincoln Center gala on Wednesday, October 27, 2010. Hosted by the non-profit, charitable Lucie Foundation, the awards recognize photographers and organizations that have made significant contributions to the advancement of photography. This year, the Workshop will be presented with the Visionary Award.

Other honorees at this year's event in New York City include the photographers Tina Barney, Howard Bingham, James Drake, Graciela Iturbide, Lee Tanner and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Tickets are on sale at

In 1976, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Eddie Adams bought a defunct dairy farm in Jeffersonville, New York, with an idea of transforming the big rural property into a “foto farm.” What that meant wouldn't become clear for another two decades, when he and wife Alyssa Adams created Barnstorm: The Eddie Adams Workshop, an invitation-only, tuition-free boot camp for 100 young photographers taught by the top professionals in the field. Since 1988, the Workshop has been a transformative experience for those lucky enough to attend the annual four-day program, and some have gone on to win their own Pulitzers and return as faculty, treating the next generation of photojournalists to a unique forum for shooting, editing and learning.

Students are divided into 10 teams of 10, each guided by a professional photographer, editor and a researcher through their assignments in and around Jeffersonville, 20 minutes from the original Woodstock concert site, and two hours from Manhattan. Together, these teams of young photographers descend on the astonishingly diverse community, shooting amid the rich, fall colors on the surrounding birch and fir trees that will factor heavily into their pictures. By the end of the weekend, several students are awarded with one of many coveted scholarships, internships, editorial assignments and other career-boosting prizes.

Throughout the years, faculty and guest speakers have included some of the most esteemed names in photography: Gordon Parks, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Cornell Capa, Mary Ellen Mark, James Nachtwey, Platon, Hal Buell, James Colton, Kathy Ryan, Bill Eppridge, Eugene Richards, Nick Ut, Ralph Gibson, Jay Meisel and many others. The idea behind Barnstorm was to allow a new generation to meet these seasoned professionals, to exchange ideas, techniques and philosophies in the course of a single weekend, and maybe save some crucial time in their budding careers. It continues to operate with the active support of Nikon and other sponsors, keeping the Workshop alive in a difficult economy and an ever-shifting new media terrain.

That impulse is rooted in a shared commitment to picture journalism that Eddie Adams showed throughout his long career. Before his death at age 71 in 2004, Adams covered 13 wars, working for the Associated Press, Time and Parade, and enjoyed private portrait sessions with the likes of President Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood and Pope John Paul II. He witnessed the arrival of the Beatles in America and joined Fidel Castro at the Cuban leader's private fishing hole. But Adams is best known for one of the most notorious photographs of the Vietnam War, documenting the execution of a Viet Cong prisoner on the streets of Saigon in 1968 with a sudden bullet to the head. The picture was published around the world, won Adams a Pulitzer, and is said to have contributed to America's exit from the war.

That experience remained with him, and at the Workshop he established an annual tribute to six photojournalists killed in Vietnam, a solemn but ultimately joyous ceremony. It is one more vivid memory that students take away from the experience.

Now in its 23rd year, the Eddie Adams Workshop lives on under the direction of Alyssa Adams, currently deputy photo editor at TV Guide. Top professionals still come to share, mentoring students who are enrolled based entirely on the quality of their work, not on ability to pay. Little has changed at the farm since the very beginnings of Barnstorm, beyond the inevitable shift from slide film to digital over the last decade, and the absence of Eddie himself.

For more information about Barnstorm: The Eddie Addams Workshop, visit

To view more of Eddie Adams work and available signed prints, click here.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Bill Eppridge: An American Treasure continues through September 26. This first-ever retrospective for the acclaimed photojournalist has been a major event since its opening on July 2. As a fitting conclusion to the exhibit, we have gathered here some articles about the exhibit and Bill Eppridge.

Review: The Magazine - Bill Eppridge's work was as epic as the times themselves

Review: The Albuquerque Journal - An Eye on the Times

Documentary film: The Eye of The Storm  tells the story of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy through the eyes of five photojournalists, four of whom were in the room when he was shot.

Documentary film: Neshoba: The Price of Freedom revisits civil rights tragedy that Bill Eppridge covered

The historic master vintage print of Robert F. Kennedy shot included in Bill Eppridge: An American Treasure

Opening reception for Bill Eppridge: An American Treasure attended by Governor Bill Richardson

Bill Eppridge in High Museum exhibit Road To Freedom - Photographs from the Civil Rights Movement
(Travelled to Skirball Center and Bronx Museum of Art)

Bill Eppridge in Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera at Tate Modern and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Bill Eppridge in Folkwang Museum exhibit A Star is Born - Photography and Rock Since Elvis

Bill Eppridge at Woodstock

Bill Eppridge Receives the Prestigious Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Ernst Haas: New Mexico, 1952  vintage chromogenic print  10 x 8 inches

Autumn has almost officially arrived and so will cooler weather. October arrives in full golden glory as aspen trees display their glowing fall colors, usually through the middle of the month. The Santa Fe Ski Basin offers a wonderful Fall Scenic Chairlift that is an ideal way to take in the foliage. With highs averaging 67 degrees and lows dipping to 37 degrees, October's crisp, cool weather is ideal for hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.

Monroe Gallery of Photography starts the month with a timely and significant exhibition: "Carl Mydans: The Early Years". There is an opening reception on Friday, October 1, from 5 - 7 PM.

Cafe in Pikesville, Tennessee, 1936 (for the Farm Security Administration) ©Time Inc

Born in Massachusetts, near Boston, in 1907, Carl Mydans’ keen sensitivity and honesty compelled him toward a lifetime of social and historical documentary photography. After working for the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, he joined the photographic staff of the Farm Security Administration in 1936. The FSA, as it was familiarly known, was a New Deal agency established during the Great Depression by Franklin Roosevelt designed to combat rural poverty during a period when the agricultural climate and national economy were causing great dislocations in rural life. The photographers who worked under the name of the FSA were hired on for public relations; they were supposed to provide visual evidence that there was need, and that the FSA programs were meeting that need. Roy Stryker, who Mydans described as one of the most important influences in his life, headed the FSA. Stryker hired Mydans, along with several other photographers who were also later to become legendary, such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, and Arthur Rothstein, to document the conditions of people and their surroundings most affected by the Depression.

Carl Mydans: Demonstrators in a Works Progress Administration (WPA) Strike, 1937 (©Time Inc)

Featured in the exhibition is a rare and distinct collection of  prints from the FSA archives, specially selected by Mydans in 1993 from a large body of his work that is owned by the United States government; as well as rare early vintage prints from the archives of LIFE magazine - the actual prints used for LIFE magazine stories. (Watch this blog for more information shortly.)

Mark Edward Harris will also join us that evening to sign copies of the second edition of his book, The Way of The Japanese Bath. A selection of prints from the book, specially printed with rich charcoal tones on washi paper, will be on exhibit.

Mark Edward Harris: the Way of the Japanese Bath

The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place October 2 - 10. Each day, it fills the skies south of Santa Fe with hundreds of colorful hot air balloons that dazzle the crowds during morning and evening Balloon Glows, Mass Ascensions and an array of contests. It is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.

For 10 years, the Santa Fe Film Festival took place in early December. In 2010, it moves to October 20 - 24, continuing to feature innovative programing. The festival showcases films made in the Southwest as well as independent American-made narrative films, films made outside the U.S., documentaries and art films celebrating the creative spirit. With a full schedule of workshops, panels, parties, awards and more, the Santa Fe Film Festival has become an exciting and popular film event that appeals to professionals and fans alike. on Friday, October 22, Monroe Gallery is very pleased to welcome acclaimed photographer Brian Hamill for a special reception and exhibition. In the late 1960s, Hamill began a career as a photojournalist and also worked as an assistant to several top fashion photographers. Hamill has worked as a unit still photographer on over seventy-five movies including twenty-six Woody Allen films, resulting in the much acclaimed coffee table photo book entitled “Woody Allen At Work: The Photographs of Brian Hamill” (Harry N. Abrams, 1995). Please join us on October 22, from 5 - 7 PM, to welcome Brian and enjoy his photographs from the movies.

Brian Hamill: Diane Keaton and Woody Allen, 59th Street Bridge, New York, 1978, "Manhattan"

For a full calendar of October events, visit the official Santa Fe Convention and Visitors web site here.

Monday, September 13, 2010


John Jay: 2001: A Space Odyssey vintage gelatin silver print

The historic Lensic Theater presents a special screening this Friday, September 17, of Stanley Kubrick's classic "2001: A Space Odyssey".

Almost a decade before Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, 2001: A Space Odyssey proved to be one of the most influential sci-fi films of all time.

The film’s special effects, ethereal soundtrack, scientific realism and enduring icons – the giant black monolith and the intelligent computer HAL – influenced directors from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to Sydney Pollack.

Director Stanley Kubrick co-wrote the screenplay with futurist author Arthur C. Clarke. Kubrick refers to 2001: A Space Odyssey as “a mythological documentary.” The discovery of a mysterious monolith by prehistoric man appears to trigger the evolutionary process from primitive ape-man to futuristic space-traveler. As time unfolds, man becomes dwarfed by his own technological creation, leading to a power struggle between man and machine.

Stanley Kubrick Directing

First released to mixed reviews in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is now recognized by critics and audiences as one of the greatest films ever made. The opening sequence featuring Richard Strauss’s symphonic poem, Also sprach Zarathustra, is one of the most famous film openings of all time. The musical score also includes Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz, which accompanies the graceful movement of satellites in outer space.

John Jay: 2001: A Space Odyssey vintage gelatin silver print

Related: "Making Movies", an exhibition of photographs from the sets of classic films.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Louie Cacchioli
Firefighter, Engine 47, FDNY
Rescued many from Tower No. 1
"I stepped outside after bringing about 40 or 50 people down a stairway. I looked around. It was crazy. Somebody yelled, 'Look out! The tower's coming down!' I started running. I tossed my air mask away to make myself lighter. Next thing I know, there's a big black ball of smoke. I threw myself on my knees, and I'm crying. I said to myself, 'Oh, my God, I'm going to die.' I was crawling. Then—the biggest miracle thing in the world. My hands came onto an air mask. It still had air. Another 15 seconds, I wouldn't have made it."

Joe McNally created “Faces of Ground Zero, Portraits of the Heroes of September 11, 2001” during the first devastating weeks after September 11, 2001.  Joe McNally set up his portrait studio at MOBY C in lower Manhattan. This unique large-format camera is a room sized camera, with a U2 spy plane lens that produces a 9 foot print. The collection of over 200 photographs was exhibited at 7 venues throughout 2002; followed by a special appearence in the exhibition "Icons" at Monroe Gallery of Photography.

The Faces of Ground Zero/Giant Polaroid Collection is perhaps the most significant artistic response to and documentation of the tragedy at the World Trade Center. The traveling exhibition tour, which commenced at Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, New York City and traveled on to the Boston Public Library, the Royal Exchange in London, Union Station in Chicago, One Market in San Francisco, the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, and concluded at Rockefeller Center in New York City, was seen by almost a million viewers. The exhibits and the book, printed by LIFE, helped raise approximately $2 million for the 9/11-relief effort.

Widespread exhibition coverage was featured in the United States through the Associated Press, print, major broadcast television, radio and cable stations (and their local affiliates), and on-line media as well as internationally through wire, print, television, radio and on-line media outlets. A comprehensive "behind-the-scene" feature is here.

Joe McNally says he is still flabbergasted by his subjects' trust in him. "They took a leap of faith when they agreed to be photographed. I promised each of them to treat the images with respect."

Jason Cascone
Firefighter, Ladder 9, FDNY
Jason finished his training on September 10, 2001. The next morning his mother woke him up and said there was a fire at the World Trade Center. He remembers being transported to his first assignment with 50 other firefighters. "There was this chaplain on the bus and he was giving absolution to everyone."

Richard, Patrick, and Peter Gleason
Firefighters, FDNY, Engine 47; Battalion 14; and retired
Patrick was working when the alarm came in. His brothers Richard, who was off-duty, and Peter, who was retired, geared up to join the effort. "After retiring I went to law school. A professor there, Kit Chan, had an office on the 79th floor of  Tower 1," said Peter. "After the first plane hit, I called and told him to get out of the building. He called the next day to thank me for saving his life. He did, however, say he was a little confused, since six months earlier over lunch we spoke about what to do in the event of a high-rise fire, which is to stay put while the fire is extinguished".

Melissa van Wijk
Choreographer and Red Cross Volunteer, Disaster Services
Van Wijk worked at aid areas that distributed food and offered showers and beds to workers. "The first day I was there 20 hours, then I took a nap and went back. That's what everybody did. It was chaotic. Everything that didn't fit into someone else's job fell to us."

"The people represented on the pages of this book are, by and large, ordinary people. they go to work, to school, to church. On an average day in New York City (if there is such a thing) you would pass hundreds of people just like there. They live their lives. They do their jobs.

That is what they would tell you of their involvement in the tragedy called 9/11: They did their jobs. They did what they were supposed to do - as human beings, as citizens, as New Yorkers." -- Joe McNally

Related: Joe McNally's Blog - "The Foley Family"

Related: Happy Birthday Joe McNally

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


©Bill Eppridge

"Bill Eppridge: An American Treasure" features the historic master vintage print of Busboy Juan Romero trying to comfort Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy after assassination attempt, June 5, 1968. Taken by photographer Bill Eppridge, it is the original master print used to reproduce this iconic image in the LIFE magazine issue dated June 14, 1968. Eppridge's photograph of Robert F. Kennedy running on the beach in Oregon was on the cover.

On the night of Senator Kennedy's assassination in Los Angeles, LIFE was closing that week's issue. Bill Eppridge’s negatives were processed in Los Angeles by J.R. Eyerman, and then flown to the Time Life lab in New York for printing. The printer was Carmine Ercolano, and he made only one master print for reproduction purposes. The negative was very thin, and the face of the busboy had to be airbrushed to bring out his features. The airbrushing is visible on the print, as are the pencil instructions along the bottom in the white border. This master print was later copied on a 4 x 5 camera, in the Time Life lab, and all future reproductions were made using a copy negative.

The master print was given to Bill Eppridge by Doris O'Neill, then the Director of the Time Life Picture Collection, shortly after LIFE magazine ceased weekly publication in 1972. Bill Eppridge was reluctant to display the print in his home in Laurel Canyon, and he placed it behind a sofa. Sometime later, a canyon fire destroyed his home. When Bill returned to the house to retrieve belongings, he found the print had burned around the edges, but had survived the fire.

Writing in Black & White magazine in September, 2008, photography appraiser Lorraine Anne Davis stated:

"An artifact is a human-made object that gives information about the culture of its creator and its users, and reflects their social behaviors. An icon, from the Greek "image", is a representation that is used, particularly in modern culture, as a symbol representing something of greater significance.

"Several 20th-century photographs have attained icon status but few are considered artifacts. One example is Bill Eppridge's damaged photograph of Bobby Kennedy as he lay wounded in a kitchen passageway in Los Angeles.

"But how does one value such an object? What comparables are appropriate? Would it be possible to compare it with the film footage shot by Abraham Zupruder that captured President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas in 1963? That film was deposited with the National Archives in 1978 by the family for safekeepimg. In 1992 a Federal law required all records of the assassination be transferred to the National Archives, passing ownership to the government. It acknowledged that the Zapruder family was entitled to reimbursement as owners of private property taken by the government for public use, but establishing the value was difficult. the case eventually went to arbitration, and a three-member panel awarded $16 million to the family, the highest amount ever paid for a historical artifact. One of the panel members disagreed - he thought that $3 - $5 million would have been more realistic, as the family had always controlled the licensing of images from the film. The issue lay with the value of the original film strip as a collectible object. Since there have been no documented sales of any other historically significant original film strips, the dissenting member of the panel felt the value was in the image and not in the film strip itself.

Like the film, the burned photograph belongs in a national museum - however, valuing it will be difficult because the event and the object are so emotionally charged that it will be difficult for any appraiser to remain dispassionate."

"Bill Eppridge: An American Treasure" continues through September 26, 2010.

Watch Bill Eppridge discuss events leading to the night of the assassination in this trailer from the forthcoming documentary "The Eye of The Storm".

Updated: Bill Eppridge Tributes and Obituaries

Related: A Civil Rights Legacy: Neshoba and The Price of Freedom.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Little Rock 9 member Jefferson Thomas dies in Ohio

Grey Villet: The Little Rock Nine enter classroom after escort from Army's 101st Airborne Division.

The Associated Press
September 6, 2010

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Jefferson Thomas, who as a teenager was among nine black students to integrate a Little Rock high school in the nation's first major battle over school segregation, has died. He was 68.

Thomas died Sunday in Ohio of pancreatic cancer, according to a statement from Carlotta Walls LaNier, who also enrolled at Central High School in 1957 and is president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation.

The integration fight was a first real test of the federal government's resolve to enforce a 1954 Supreme Court order outlawing racial segregation in the nation's public schools. After Gov. Orval Faubus sent National Guard troops to block Thomas and eight other students from entering Central High, President Eisenhower ordered in the Army's 101st Airborne Division.

Soldiers stood in the school hallways and escorted each of the nine students as they went from classroom to classroom.

Each of the Little Rock Nine received Congressional Gold Medals shortly after the 40th anniversary of their enrollment. President Clinton presented the medals in 1999 to Thomas, LaNier, Melba Patillo Beals, Minnijean Trickey Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Terrence Roberts and Thelma Mothershed Wair.

In 2008, then President-elect Obama sent Thomas and other members of the Little Rock Nine special invitations to his inauguration as the nation's first black president. During his campaign, he had said the Little Rock Nine's courage in desegregating Central High helped make the opportunities in his life possible.

Thomas played a number of sports and was on the track team at Dunbar Junior High, but others had little to do with him once he entered Central, the state's largest high school.

I had played with some of the white kids from the neighborhood," Thomas said. "I went up to Central High School after school and we played basketball and touch football together. I knew some of the kids.

"Eventually, I ran into them ... and they were not at all happy to see me," Thomas added. "One of them said, 'Well I don't mind playing basketball or football with you or anything. You guys are good at sports. Everybody knows that, but you're just not smart enough to sit next to me in the classroom.'"

Beals said Monday that Thomas was nicknamed "Roadrunner, because he was so fast. You could sometimes avoid danger by running fast."

She said by phone from her home in California that Thomas always seemed to bring a light moment to the crisis.

"He was funny, he had a most extraordinary sense of humor. He did sustain an enormous amount of damage and pain during the Little Rock crisis, but no matter what, he always had something refreshing and funny to say," she said. "It could be the most horrible day and he would say 'Yes, but how are you dressed and are you smiling?'"

Thomas also brought a bit of levity to the 2007 commemoration marking the 50th anniversary of the integration fight — letting the audience know how angry LaNier was with him when he stood up and cheered at a Central High Tigers pep rally.

Thomas thought the white students were carrying the school flag and yelling the school cheer. He said LaNier glared at him and later set him straight: It was the Confederate flag and the students were singing "Dixie."

After graduation, Thomas served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and later became an accounting clerk with the
Department of Defense.

Following the 2008 election, Thomas said in an interview that he supported Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Ohio primary and he also liked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who made a bid for the Republican nomination.

"It would have been a hard decision for me to make if Huckabee was running against Obama," Thomas added.

Still, he said, he was overjoyed with Obama's victory.

"This was really the nonviolent revolution," Thomas said. "We went and cast our ballots and the ballots were counted this time. I'm thinking now we've got to do something. I don't know what. But there are a lot of things Obama ran on, what he's saying he wants to do."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


We came across a significant tip from Joe McNally's blog about John Loengard’s important guest blog on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider blog.

"I would suggest as a must read for photographers and picture editors alike. Tremendous economic pressures over time have fractured and adversely affected the historic and important relationship good picture editors have with the photographers they employ. This post, and John’s well reasoned and direct advocacy for the role of the photog in the world of publications, is very well taken."--Joe McNally
The Role of the Picture Editor

It is not important if photographs are “good.” It’s important that they are interesting. What makes a photograph interesting? I’ll count the ways: It can be our first look at something. It can be entertaining. It can evoke deep emotions. It can be amusing or thrilling or intriguing. It can be proof of something. It can jog memories or raise questions. It can be beautiful. It can convey authority. Most often, it informs. And, it can surprise.

Nothing is more important than the trust of photographers. Since they are not employees, but freelancers, photographers often operate from a disadvantaged position. Remember that:

· You are the photographers’ advocate. No one else will be.

· You are the photographers’ counselor, explaining the magazine to them and them to the magazine.

· You are the final arbiter when disagreements arise with other members of the staff.

Smooth the way for the photographer. Make certain that the proper research has been done before an assignment and that there is actually something to photograph. (It sounds unbelievable to say photographers can arrive to find their subjects don’t exist but it happens.)

You should back photographers’ good ideas with conviction and shield them from misguided suggestions: Often, something that sounds intelligent doesn’t look good in photographs. Intelligent thoughts are often better in the mind’s eye than in the camera.

Other editors, with the story’s text in hand, may judge photographs by what they have read. Don’t join them. The reader sees before he ever reads and may never read if there’s nothing interesting to see.

A good subject for one photographer may not be good for another. Some photographers create a graphic and dramatic structure of a scene and then record it. Others leave a scene alone, intent on catching the ring of truth in a moment’s natural activity. Some do a bit of both. Label the extremes “posed” and “candid.”

You must spot young talent and encourage it, giving these tyros more than occasional assignments. Give those you select enough work to allow them to develop, but remember that when photographers start out, they often imitate one famous photographer or another. Challenge them to be themselves. When a photographer such as Alfred Eisenstaedt or Annie Leibovitz makes his or her reputation in your publication, everyone, including the reader, benefits.

Treat all photographers equally-those with whom you become close friends as well as those with whom you do not. Remember:

· React promptly to pictures you like when photographers call. Don’t wait days or weeks to satisfy their curiosity. Be an audience without flattery. Photographers rarely get informed reactions to their work.

· Don’t assure photographers that their pictures will be printed if they may not be.

· Be clear about what expenses you will pay. Don’t quibble with the photographer’s expense report. Pay promptly. Photographers are usually one-person operations-hardly businesses. They have to pay the airline and rental car bills the next month.

· If you must assign two photographers to do the same subject, make sure the reasons are known to everyone.

· Don’t hold on to a photographer’s work just to keep it from your competition.

Do all this, and when the time comes for you to hold a photographer’s feet to the fire-to urge him to continue to press a difficult subject or try a fresh approach-your mutual trust will be gold.

Since you wouldn’t ask a photographer to shoot pictures by the pound, don’t present their work that way. Take their pictures and narrow them down to the best. It’s your job to show their work so that others can clearly see its quality.

Learn to visualize photographs in scale, and understand art directors’ everlasting concern with fitting photographs, headlines, body type and captions into a page’s space. Appreciate their solutions. Make your points before layouts are made. No one wants to tear up finished work.

When a story is proposed, the picture editor should take a leaf from the newspaper editor’s handbook-the part that cub reporters have to commit to memory and recall when they start out on a story. Who (or what) is interesting to look at? When is it interesting to look at? And where? And how?

To be interesting, a photograph needs to show something distinctive. A two-headed cow is unusual. A bride in her wedding gown standing in a kitchen is a bit odd. But there can also be something special in what otherwise might be a common picture: a child’s yawn, for example, or a man’s gestures or a tree’s shadow. The flawless detail in print from a large-format camera may define the peculiarity of a subject.

“Peculiar” means distinctive, individual (we say “peculiar as the nose on your face”), as well as aberrant, bizarre and absurd. It’s a good word to use when thinking about photographs. Before making an assignment, ask yourself, “What is peculiar about the subject?”

Before I became a picture editor, I assumed that “good photographers” took “good pictures” because they had a special eye. What I found was that good photographers take good pictures because they take great pains to have good subjects in front of their cameras. (Reflect a moment on what cameras do, and this makes sense.) Good photographers anticipate their pictures. What good picture editors do is help them.

Don’t try to tell a photographer how to take a picture, (except, possibly, suggesting some special effect). You want the photographer to follow his own instincts. You should, however, let the photographer climb upon your shoulders for a better view. That is, explain your thinking about the story. Talk about what might happen. Wonder if the man who invented “Post-its” would stick one on his nose. Raise the possibility without demanding to see it. Instead, expect to see something better.

Encourage good photographers to work for themselves, for posterity, for their grandchildren-not just for you. A photograph that solves a magazine’s problem is more interesting when the solution is something you remember after the problem is forgotten.

Text editors do their work after the fact. But because photographers have something in common with Babe Ruth-they either hit the ball or they don’t-almost everything a picture editor does is done before the pictures are taken. What can you do after a home run except smile?

No photographer can go out today and take a photograph that sums up the Obama Administration. Photographs don’t generalize. But a detail, when photographed, often conveys a sense of a whole. A finger, the man. A leaf, the tree. A curbstone, the city.

Photographers don’t like leaving their pictures to chance. When shooting people, they gravitate toward making portraits-strong, static pictures they are certain will command attention-not riskier pictures that catch people doing things. As in a novel, action is always at a premium. And in truth, most subjects are static. Encourage photographers to take chances. Will the 100-year-old lady please bend and touch her toes?

How do you choose a photographer? Personality is not important. (Like barbers, photographers need to get along with almost anyone in order to earn a living.) But the photographer’s way of working is important-and so is the subject’s way of life. You must meld the two to ensure success.

Take the responsibility when assignments fail. (Your job is to see that they don’t.)

View more of Mr. Loengard’s work here.

Friday, September 3, 2010


On Friday, the New York Times Lens Blog ran a photo-essay about Fidel Casto and the significance of his returning to military dress.

"Fidel Castro, the former president of Cuba, wearing his green military cap and clothing like the commandant of old, spoke before the Cuban public on Friday, warning of the threat of nuclear war. Reuters reported that Mr. Castro, 84, made his speech from the same steps of the University of Havana where 60 years ago he stirred fellow students to political action in the beginnings of the revolution that eventually put him in power in 1959. About 10,000 people, mostly students, filled the steps and nearby streets to listen to the man who led Cuba for 49 years before an intestinal illness prompted his resignation as president in 2006"

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro speaks during a meeting with students at Havana's University September 3, 2010.
Credit: REUTERS/Desmond Boylan

The anti-communist image of Cuba's corrupt strongman Fulgencio Batista kept him in power with Washington's backing until 1958 when Fidel Castro arrived upon the scene to liberate the island as a revolutionary hero. After Castro organized his small insurgency, an inept Cuban army was unable to stop them. After two years of battle in the countryside, the hated dictator Batista fled the capital and Castro and his men headed for Havana. They were cheered by crowds all along the way. LIFE photographer Grey Villet captured Castro's rag tag revolutionary army victory march on their way to Havana.  In Washington's view Castro appeared to bring the communist threat closer to America's shores. But seen through Grey's eyes Castro was a nationalist and revolutionary dreamer.

Grey Villet: Rebel leader Fidel Castro being cheered by a village crowd on his victorious march to Havana

Grey Villet: Fidel Castro pitching baseball while on cross-Cuba Victory tour

Grey Villet: Fidel Castro giving press conference after arriving at outskirts of Havana.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Carl Mydans: A Pioneer Organizer Of The Office Workers' Union, Wall Street and Broad Street, NYC, 1936 ©Time, Inc

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Read the history of Labor Day here on the US Department of Labor's website.

Another day of hard labor, Formation of African American men wearing dirty white uniforms and carrying farming tools. This image was photographed for Margaret Bourke-White's groundbreaking photo essay, "You Have Seen Their Faces," about southern farmers during the Depression, which was first published in 1937 and reprinted in 1975 and 1995. ©Time, Inc

Margaret Bourke-White: Women working in defense industry, Gary, IN, 1943
©Time Inc

Carl Mydans: 1937 WPA Progress Strike ©Time Inc

Bill Eppridge: Cesar Chavez, California, 1974

Eddie Adams: Coal Miner, West Virginia, 1969