Thursday, June 30, 2011

London Street Photography Festival July, 2011

World-class photography and a diverse programme of exhibitions and events at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, the V and A, the British Library, the German Gymnasium and St Pancras International.

What's on at the festival

The festival programme has been announced, check out the What's on page for up to the minute info on exhibitions, events, workshops and photo-walks.


Contributors include:

Anahita Avalos, Polly Braden, Susanna Brown, David Campany, Damian Chrobak, Cheryl Dunn, John Falconer, George Georgiou, David Gibson, Mishka Henner, Tiffany Jones, Nils Jorgensen, Walter Joseph, Witold Krassowski, Vivian Maier, John Maloof, Mimi Mollica, Johanna Neurath, Grant Smith, Toby Smith, Ying Tang, Nick Turpin, Dougie Wallace

Venues include:

British Library, Centre for Creative Collaboration, Collective Gallery, German Gymnasium, HotShoe Gallery, Housmans, Minnie Weisz Studio, National Portrait Gallery, Photofusion, St Pancras International, Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum

Not quite sure what we are about? Have a look at What is Street Photography?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Marines of the 28th Regiment of the 5th Division Raise the American Flag Atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 1945
Joe Rosenthal: Marines of the 28th Regiment of the 5th Division Raise the American Flag Atop Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, 1945 ©AP


July 1 through September 25, 2011

Monroe Gallery of Photography is pleased to present an exhibition celebrating the gallery's ten years in Santa Fe: "History's Big Picture"; July 1 through September 25, 2011. The exhibition opens with a public reception Friday, July 1, from 5 - 7 PM.

On April 19, 2002, Monroe Gallery of Photography presented "LIFE Magazine Master Photojournalists" for its first exhibition in Santa Fe. Over the past ten years and over more than 55 exhibitions, Monroe Gallery has consistently exhibited the masters of 20th and 21st Century Photojournalism.

"History's Big Picture" mines the depth and breadth of Monroe Gallery's archives and is combined with new, never-before exhibited photojournalism masterpieces, from the early 1920's to the present day. "History's Big Picture" highlights both the significant and the idiosyncratic and embodies how Monroe Gallery has helped shape the understanding and appreciation of photojournalism locally and worldwide. In March of 2011, the respected E-Photo Newsletter named Monroe Gallery "the most influential gallery devoted to photojournalism".

Photographers in this exhibition have captured dramatic moments in time and illustrate the power of photography to inform, persuade, enlighten and enrich the viewer's life. Universally relevant, they reflect the past, the present, and the changing times. These unforgettable images are imbedded in our collective consciousness; they form a sort of shared visual heritage for the human race, a treasury of significant memories. Many of the photographs featured in this exhibition not only moved the public at the time of their publication, and continue to have an impact today, but set social and political changes in motion, transforming the way we live and think.

Photographs in the exhibition relate to events that represent the culmination of a development or the eruption of social forces. Looking at the pictorial documentation of such revolutionary events we often get the impression that we are feeling the pulse of history more intensively than at other times. Although often not beautiful, or easy, they are images that shake and disquiet us; and are etched in our memories forever.
View the exhibition here.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Steve McQeen and his wife, Neile Adams, in sulphur bath, Big Sur, California, 1963
John Dominis: Steve McQeen and his wife, Neile Adams, in sulphur bath, Big Sur, California, 1963

From the tumult of battle to the glamour of movie stars, from the wonders of nature to the coronation of kings, queens, and presidents, the work of LIFE photographers is as much a history of American photojournalism as it is a history of the changing face of the latter part of the Twentieth Century. On the pages of LIFE, through the images captured by these masters, the eyes of a nation were opened as never before to a changing world.

John Dominis was born June 27, 1921 in Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California, where he majored in cinematography. However, he credits a teacher, C. A. Bach, from Fremont High that offered a three-year course in photography for his skills. Remembers Dominis, "He'd give assignments, ball you out, make you reshoot." Eight of the photographers that Bach trained later got staff jobs with LIFE magazine. From 1943 to 1947 Dominis served as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force photographic department. After three years as a free-lance photographer, he became a member of the LIFE staff in 1950.

A consummate photojournalist, Dominis covered the Korean War for LIFE, and recorded the beginning of what became the Vietnam War. He photographed the firing of General Douglas MacArthur, and he covered John F. Kennedy’s emotional “I am a Berliner” speech. Dominis traveled the world constantly, and in 1966 he made two long trips to Africa to photograph the “big cats”: leopards, cheetahs, and lions for a remarkable series of picture essays in LIFE which later became the basis for a book. This project resulted in several awards for Dominis, including Magazine Photographer of the Year (1966).

Dominis also covered five Olympics, the Woodstock Festival, and represented both TIME and LIFE during President Richard Nixon’s 1972 trip to China. Many of the editors and photo-chiefs at LIFE considered Dominis to be the best all-around photographer on staff. After LIFE ceased regular publication, Dominis worked as photo editor for People and Sports Illustrated. Returning to freelance photography, Dominis shot the photographs for five Italian cookbooks, on location with Giuliano Bugialli, food writer and teacher.

“LIFE magazine was a great success. If a man hadn't seen a picture of a native in New Guinea, well, we brought him a picture of a native of New Guinea. We went into the homes of princes and Presidents and showed the public how they lived. The great thing about working with LIFE," says Dominis, "was that I was given all the support and money and time, whatever was required, to do almost any kind of work I wanted to do, anywhere in the world. It was like having a grant, a Guggenheim grant, but permanently"

John Dominis' photographs of the 1968 Black Power Salute and President John F. Kennedy's vosot to Berlin are included in the exhibition "History's Big Picture" July 1 - September 25, 2011.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011


David Boeri, for­mer WCVB reporter,currently with WBUR Radio wear­ing his Whitey Tee shirt after he was cap­tured. David is a great his­to­rian of Whitey and his exploits.

Via Stanley Forman

Whitey Bul­ger was cap­tured and I got the call at 2: am to head into the City (Boston) for cov­er­age of the big story. It brought back mem­o­ries of a con­fronta­tion I had with Whitey almost 40 years ago, way before I knew who or what he was.

The Plaza at the Pem­ber­ton Square Court House on Bea­con Hill was a gated area (still is, but now with a guard shack) and in order to park vehi­cles on the Plaza to cover a court issue you had to knock on the door lead­ing to the bow­els of the build­ing and get who­ever was on duty to unlock the gate. It was the same entrance where the pris­on­ers com­ing for a court appear­ance were brought and then put in hold­ing cells.

One day about 40 years ago I had to go in and out of the Plaza sev­eral times. Each time I knocked on the door look­ing for the “key per­son.” The man with the key got pissed off at me as he thought I was both­er­ing him. I was young, strong (I thought), and if noth­ing else I could take any­one on ver­bally. We spared back and forth yelling and swear­ing at each other, he opened and closed the gate and I moved on.

Later that day I called Dis­trict Attor­ney New­man Flanagan’s pub­lic rela­tions direc­tor Dave Rod­man. I told him the story and he knew imme­di­ately who I was talk­ing about and told me it was Sen­a­tor William Bulger’s brother Whitey and to let it go.

I did not real­ize what dan­ger I had been in till 20 years later when I started to know more about Whitey, read he had worked at the Court House and real­ized who I had had the con­fronta­tion with on that par­tic­u­lar day. It was a scary thought after read­ing he had dis­patched peo­ple for var­i­ous rea­sons and I prob­a­bly gave him good rea­son that day.

A cou­ple of years ago I was at a book sign­ing event for “The Soil­ing Of Old Glory” and Billy Bul­ger was the mod­er­a­tor as we talked about forced bus­ing in Boston in the 70s. I told him about the inci­dent. We both laughed as he said “I guess you are lucky to be alive!”

Through the years Whitey’s rep­u­ta­tion as the “Sav­ior of South Boston” cer­tainly dimin­ished and fear set in. There used to be news­pa­per arti­cles say­ing Whitey played it safe against the bad ele­ments of South Boston; only run­ning some gam­bling oper­a­tions and keep­ing drugs out of the area. Works out he was the drug run­ner and involved in pretty much every­thing ille­gal in the area, plus mur­der­ing peo­ple at will. He has been charged with 19 known mur­ders and believed to be involved with many more.

Paul Corsetti, a for­mer reporter I worked with, also had an inci­dent with Whitey. Paul was chas­ing a story on a South Boston bookie and not think­ing much about it when he got a call at the office. It said it was Whitey him­self telling Paul “I know where you’re fam­ily lives and the school bus your daugh­ter gets on every day.” Paul told Whitey it was not him he was look­ing into and gave him the bookie’s name he was watch­ing. Whitey light­ened up and gave Paul all the infor­ma­tion he needed to do the story and the two moved on.

Another time in South Boston at Pre­ble Cir­cle there was a call for a shoot­ing. I raced there and the area was hec­tic with EMTs work­ing a vic­tim and cops run­ning around look­ing for sus­pects. Dick Fal­lon, another news pho­tog­ra­pher, kept telling me they were look­ing for Steven “The Rifle­man” Flemmi, who it turns out, was Whitey Bulger’s part­ner both being FBI infor­mants. Steve’s brother Michael was a Boston Cop who later got him­self in trou­ble and ended up in jail like his brother.

In the late 60s I was cruis­ing with Record Amer­i­can pho­tog­ra­pher Gene Dixon my col­league for 16 plus years when he heard the call for a per­son in the snow. It was on Har­vard Street in Dorch­ester and when we got there one of the Ben­nett broth­ers was curled up, bloody snow around him as he had been assas­si­nated. As I read up on the his­tory of Whitey it seems his mur­der was all part of the gang wars of those past days.

I grew up in Revere, Mass­a­chu­setts where it was said there was a bookie or gang­ster on every cor­ner. Not true– just on a lot of cor­ners but not all of them. My first “Mafia” hit took place dur­ing a gang war between local gangs. There was an infor­mant by the name of Joseph Baron Bar­boza. Joe was some­how involved in help­ing the police get to rival gang mem­bers and he and his friends were on a hit list. On a week­day night 35 plus years ago I cov­ered the mur­der of Domenic Dam­ico, and East Boston man. He was an asso­ciate of Barboza’s and had gone into a club in what was then called the Com­bat Zone on lower Wash­ing­ton Street in Boston to try and straighten things out. He had police pro­tec­tion and lost them think­ing he could make things right.

He was told to go to Revere and meet some­one near the Squire Club on Squire Road in North Revere. He did meet some­one or should we say some­one met him. When I got there he had been blown apart and was sit­ting slouched against the steer­ing wheel of his car about 100 yards from the club.

Another one of the group was Patsy Fabi­ano. Patsy was in hid­ing and at one point was put in the Charles Street Jail for pro­tec­tion. Kevin Cole, my col­league at the paper, got his pic­ture as he walked in the front door. Patsy was later killed gang­land style in the Boston area. I actu­ally knew Patsy; he hung out in Revere and went to Revere High.

Dur­ing this gang war time our great writer Harold Banks did a book on Bar­boza and word was out there was a “hit” on him. Harold was the City Edi­tor on Sat­ur­days at the paper and his Assis­tant City Edi­tor was Tom Sul­li­van. Harold was ner­vous about what might hap­pen and had police pro­tec­tion, One Sat­ur­day, Tom Sul­li­van put up a big sign on the back of his chair which read “I am not Harold Banks” with an arrow on the sign point­ing to the Harold. It brought on a lot of laughs.

We were tight with the Dis­trict Attor­ney back then and we were set up to pho­to­graph Bar­boza as he was being escorted from one court room to another at the Pem­ber­ton Square Court House. A very ner­vous Dick Thom­son a col­league was sent on a Sat­ur­day morn­ing and the sus­pect was led across the cor­ri­dor well pro­tected by police. Our Sun­day edi­tion was the only paper that cap­tured the image. The end finally caught up with Bar­boza on the streets of San Fran­cisco report­edly by a Boston area hit man!

I was on Prince Street in Boston’s North End when they raided the offices of Gen­naro Angiulo the local crime boss. The office had been bugged and after culling the infor­ma­tion that was needed they pulled out all of the files, safes and what­ever else was mov­able. Of course the late and great Globe reporter Dick Con­nolly was there, note­book in hand and watch­ing the scene. Dick was so good at what he did I would be sur­prised if he did not get to lis­ten to the tapes that were recorded.

I had a friend who was told after offi­cials lis­tened to those record­ings he was on a hit list. My friend had pissed some Mafia peo­ple and it was time to even the score. The “law” wanted him to help them but instead he fled the Coun­try for sev­eral years till things cooled down.

The Angiulo office was less than a mile from the Man­ches­ter Street garage Whitey used to hang out with along with his part­ner Steve Flemmi. Most of the pho­tos we see of Whitey and Steve were taken in the area of that garage. Mass State Police had set up sur­veil­lance in a build­ing across from the site. All of a sud­den the pair stopped going to the garage and the rife between the FBI became more pro­nounced as they thought there was a leak com­ing from that office. Works out they were cor­rect and his name was John “Zip­per Connolly.”

Reporter Pam Cross and I were in a dis­trict court fol­low­ing Frank “Cadil­lac” Salemne, a Mafia boss and hit man. He sur­vived an attempt on his life dur­ing a day­time try on Route One in Saugus, MA, when sev­eral shots were fired at him and although he was hit he sur­vived. Salemne at one time had fled Mass­a­chu­setts and was liv­ing in New York. FBI Agent John Con­nolly hap­pened to see him amongst 8 mil­lion peo­ple on a down­town Man­hat­tan Street and made the arrest. It was always felt he was one of the peo­ple Bul­ger and Flemmi dimed out and let Con­nolly know where he was. Salemne was sup­posed to be a friend of the pair.
Ray­mond Patri­arca with his attor­ney Joseph Bal­liro leav­ing a Boston court around 1967. Over Patriarca’s right shoul­der is Record Amer­i­can Reporter Tom Berube.

Ray­mond Patri­arca with his attor­ney Joseph Bal­liro leav­ing a Boston court around 1967. Over Patriarca’s right shoul­der is Record Amer­i­can Reporter Tom Berube.

The big boss of the Mafia in New Eng­land was Ray­mond Patri­aca, the Mafia Don from Rhode Island. Get­ting a photo of him was a big deal as he put the fear of God in every­one and he always had his tipar­illo cigar in his mouth and did not say pleas­ant things to the media.

The first time I saw him was at Fed­eral Court in Boston. We were all wait­ing for his appear­ance, every­one was talk­ing, and I was the only one that spot­ted him when he walked by us. I raced in behind him as he got in the ele­va­tor and got the only photo as the ele­va­tor door closed. About an hour later he came out the same door and walked right through the crowd, every­one was alert this time. Both the AP and UPI pho­tog­ra­phers got bet­ter images than I did and the Edi­tor of the paper hung them up in the photo depart­ment to make sure we all knew we got beat.

The last time I saw Ray­mond was at a New Bed­ford Court when they brought him in by ambu­lance and stretchered him into his hear­ing. I got a great photo of him laid out. When he died we all went down to Rhode Island to the funeral home and cov­ered peo­ple going in and out of the wake.

When I first began at the news­pa­per, bookie raids were big and we had sources to tell us when, where and every­thing we needed to know to be there when it hap­pened. I was dis­patched to the 411 Club on Colum­bus Avenue in Boston’s South End. The sus­pects were being carted out and from there I fol­lowed the group to the Fed­eral Court House in Post Office Square. There were not any metal detec­tors in those days so keep­ing up with the group was no problem.

I got into an ele­va­tor but lit­tle did I know I got on with some of the sus­pects. One of them being a major player in the rack­e­teer­ing group, Dr. Harry “Doc” Sagan­sky, a Brook­line den­tist and big time bookie. He was smok­ing a cigar and he turned to me flick­ing his ashes and said “If you take my pic­ture I will burn your eyes out.” I still have my eyes so you know what I did not do that day.

Another time the FBI was pick­ing up Mafia sus­pects along with Boston Police and they paraded the group across the street to the JFK build­ing from the Dis­trict One Police Sta­tion on New Sud­bury Street. It was a very orga­nized show and tell by the cops and at one point Vin­nie “The Ani­mal” Fer­rara, one of the key fig­ures, looks at me and says “get that light out of my eyes,” I said “yes sir” and moved onto some­one else.

I knew some of the vic­tims of Mafia hits. The beau­ti­ful wife of gang­ster Richie Cas­tucci, San­dra, used to shop at Arthur’s Cream­ery where I had my high school deliv­ery job. I loved going to his Revere Beach Boule­vard home as the tip was big and she was good to look at.

He report­edly felt oblig­ated to the FBI after they pro­vided some infor­ma­tion to him so he became a con­fi­dant. They found him wrapped up dead in the trunk of his car less than a mile from where Dam­ico was mur­dered on Lantern Road in Revere. This was sup­pos­edly part of the Whitey Bulger’s group of killings. Another mur­der tied to FBI Agent, John “Zip­per” Con­nolly, who is serv­ing what should end up being life sen­tence in a Florida Jail.

When these gang wars first began my col­league Gene Dixon took a great photo of one of the vic­tims near the back of the old Boston Gar­den. Gene had gone up on the express­way and even told Globe pho­tog­ra­pher Ollie Noo­nan, Jr. where there was a good view. The pho­tos the two of them made with the light­ing, gird­ers and high­way made it look like the scene from a movie.

The Record Amer­i­can did not use the photo as they thought it was too grue­some and Gene walked around for weeks show­ing and talk­ing about all the sug­ges­tive pic­tures on the movie pages of the paper where every­one appeared to being hav­ing sex (not the words he used). What really got him pissed was see­ing Ollie’s photo in a dou­ble page spread in Life Mag­a­zine doing a story on under­world mur­ders and this was a good example.

Today, while chas­ing the story sur­round­ing Whitey’s cap­ture I was first sent to his brother’s Billy house then to his brother Jack’s house, both in South Boston. I was sit­ting there look­ing around work­ing to stay awake and as I looked up at two men talk­ing I real­ized one of them looked like Jackie. I picked up my video cam­era and zoomed in, it was him.

I started tap­ing the scene, jumped out of the car as he began walk­ing towards me. He had this big umbrella in his hand and all I could think of was I escaped the wrath of his brother and now he would do me in. Not to be, I said “Hello, would you like to talk to me?” he very angrily said “I am not talk­ing” and he walked back to his apartment.

Stanley Forman's Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph "The Soiling of Old Glory" is featured in the exhibition "History's Big Picture" July 1 - September 25, 2011,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Looking Back | The Fillmore East

Crowd for CSNY tkts
Amalie R. Rothschild: A huge crowd formed around the Fillmore East in May 1970 when tickets went on sale for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

The Local East Village - News, Culture and Life
June 24, 2011, 4:00 pm

Looking Back
The Fillmore East

The push to preserve blocks of the neighborhood through a landmark district has, not surprisingly, led to a lot of conversations about the history of the area. The proposed district covers roughly six blocks, and perhaps no property within the tract has hosted more important figures in American culture than the former Fillmore East building at 105 Second Avenue.

Now, the entrance to the building is an Emigrant Savings Bank, and the 2,600-seat theater has been replaced with an apartment building. But the Fillmore’s three-year existence had a lasting impact culturally; Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Miles Davis all recorded well-regarded live albums there. The Who played their rock opera, “Tommy” in its entirety for the first time in the United States in 1969 at the Fillmore East. And the first rock concert to be broadcast on television was taped there in 1970.

But the Fillmore’s impact went beyond the performers onstage. Numerous technological innovations during the theater’s short existence were adopted at concert venues across the country.

“I was blown away by what a creative, experimental theater environment there was at the Fillmore East,” said Amalie R. Rothschild, a photographer who was among the many NYU students who landed dream jobs at the Fillmore when it opened in 1968. “It was a real place to do real things. The students had a live laboratory within which to work.”

Photograph of Jimi Hendrix at Fillmore East by Amalie R. Rothschild
Amalie R. Rothschild Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore East, 1969.

The man behind that environment was Bill Graham, the rock promoter who first made a name for himself with the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. After his success on the West Coast hosting some of rock’s biggest names, Graham returned to his native New York to open another venue.

He purchased the building near Sixth Street, which had previously been a music venue, a Loews cinema, and a Yiddish theater. Within the first year Graham had booked the likes of Janis Joplin, the Who, and Jimi Hendrix.

“It was the top of the heap, guys were just jazzed to be there,” said Jerry Pompili, the house manager of the Fillmore East for most of the time it was open.

With its top-notch sound system, elaborate psychedelic light shows that accompanied performances, noble, theater-like environment and first class treatment of musicians, Graham’s East Village Xanadu attempted to elevate rock music from mere spectacle to art.

“Bill had hit on it. He gave us dignity,” Pete Townshend of the Who said in “Bill Graham Presents,” an oral history of the rock promoter’s life. “We were dignified people. We were artists.”

But that atmosphere that so attracted the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead — and on one occassion John Lennon and Yoko Ono for an impromptu 2 a.m. performance following a show by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention — proved unsustainable in the face of arena rock.

“The business began to transform from coffee houses and theater venues to Madison Square Garden and stadiums,” said Ms. Rothschild, author of “Live at the Fillmore East: A Photographic Memoir.” “Woodstock made it clear that hundreds of thousands of people would come out for this type of music.”

On June 27, 1971 the Fillmore East closed. Of course, there was a heck of a show featuring a lineup that would make the most jaded of music buffs drool: the Allman Brothers, the Beach Boys, Albert King, the J. Geils Band and others.

“The concert went until 6 a.m.,” Rothschild recalled. “Nobody wanted it to end.”

The Fillmore East
Amalie R. Rothschild The Fillmore East.

More: Slideshow and memories of the Fillmore East

Thursday, June 23, 2011


LOOK3 – Ashley Gilbertson

By Matthew McAllister
Published: June 23, 2011

One of the most powerful talks that I attended during the LOOK3 festival in Charlottesville this year was given by Ashley Gilbertson. Gilbertson presented his latest project titled, “Bedrooms of the Fallen.” The project consists of a series of pictures of the dormant bedrooms left by soldiers who died at war. Gilbertson explained that he had become frustrated by the public’s lack of response to his photographs coming out of Iraq that depicted the violence surrounding him and the soldiers assigned to protect him.

It was moving to hear him talk about the soldiers in his pictures, and in many cases, explain how they were killed. His wife suggested that he photograph their bedrooms as a way for people to relate to their lives. Since then, Gilbertson has photographed dozens of bedrooms across the US and Europe. In many cases, the rooms are arranged in the exact same way as the day the soldier left, except for the occasional folded flag to remind us of why the room is vacant.

Just as Gilbertson was describing how viewers can relate better to loss through these images, a picture of the bedroom belonging to PFC. Richard P. Langenbrunner of Fort Wayne, Indiana appeared. I immediately recognized a poster on the wall from the movie “The Matrix” and realized I have the same poster on my own wall. The room immediately became far more personal to me and I felt like I knew more about this soldier through this photograph than any description in a newspaper article could provide.

Bedrooms of the Fallen - Ashley Gilbertson

Ashley Gilbertson’s Website:


Going Fishing, Texas, 1952

As we head into the first "official" summer weekend, we thought of sharing this photograph by Life magazine photographer John Dominis: "Going Fishing, Texas, 1952".

The photograph was taken on assignment for a Life magazine story about the "Mesquite problem" throughout Texas. John Dominis covered a lot of territory for this assignment, but did not indicate where he shot each picture. The story was published in LIFE on August 8, 1952, although this picture was not used in the story. The fishing pools are made from area Mesquite

Related: John Dominis: A Natural Shooter

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


It is almost July, and many of the art-cities of the world are on hiatus for the summer. Which means the season is just getting started in Santa Fe. Here are few highlights.

Start the summer season at the opening reception for "History's Big Picture" at Monroe Gallery of Photography. The reception celebrates Monroe Gallery's ten years in Santa Fe, and takes place Friday, July 1, from 5 - 7 PM. "History's Big Picture" mines the depth and breadth of Monroe Gallery's archives and is combined with new, never-before exhibited photojournalism masterpieces, from the early 1900's to the present day. Through 60 significant photographs, "History's Big Picture" highlights both the significant and the idiosyncratic and embodies how Monroe Gallery has helped shape the understanding and appreciation of photojournalism locally and worldwide.

The Santa Fe Opera starts its season July 1 with Faust, followed by a summer of great performances. The following weekend, July 8 - 10, features the The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, now in its 8th year, and Art Santa Fe, celebrating its 11th year. The final major event of July is the 60th Traditional Spanish Market, which will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31, 2011.

Site Santa Fe has two concurrent exhibitions of note throughout the summer: Pae White: Material Mutters and Suzanne Bocanegra: I Write the Songs.

Throughout the month there are dozens of gallery openings across Santa Fe, as well as many other arts events. And August holds more!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America

Amnesty International Logo

Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America
Date: Tue 28 June 2011

Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America, is a visual testament to lynching as a form of social violence in the United States of America from 1880 to the 1960s. The photographs, postcards and memorabilia featured in the exhibition are shown in the UK for the first time. The images collectively reveal how deeply ingrained racist ideologies had become, to the extent that by the early 1900s, lynching was transformed into a major participatory form of entertainment and through photography into a space of commercial exchange and celebration.

Taken at various lynching events, the images of Without Sanctuary were not confined to any one period, place, or race and depict, in graphic detail, victims from a variety of backgrounds and characteristics: white, black, young, old, men, women, Jews and gentiles. However, most of the Americans lynched were African Americans: as many as 4,000 black men and women.

These photographs uncover a horrific American visual legacy, one that has often been left hidden, but which collector James Allen uncovered: ‘I believe the photographer was more than a perceptive spectator at lynchings. The photographic art played as significant a role in the ritual as torture or souvenir grabbing - a sort of two-dimensional biblical swine, a receptacle for a collective sinful self. Even dead, the victims were without sanctuary.’

Without Sanctuary serves as a stark reminder that freedom comes with a solemn responsibility on all citizens to treat others with dignity, respect and fairness. The exhibition bears witness to the victims, and to those whose individual and collective efforts helped end lynching, and serves as a reminder that there are still vulnerable populations today who need sanctuary from intimidation and oppression. Lynching is a distortion of human and civil rights, and so represents an assault on civilisation itself.

The Panel Includes:

Mark Sealy is the director of Autograph ABP and joint CEO of Rivington Place. He has a special interest in photography and its relationship to social change, identity politics and human rights. In his role as director of Autograph ABP he has initiated the production of well over 40 publications, produced exhibitions worldwide and commissioned photographers globally. He is a PhD candidate at Durham University, where his research focuses on photography and cultural violence.

Candace Allen is a screenwriter and political activist. She received her BA from Harvard University before attending the New York University School of Film and Television. She became the first African-American female member of the Directors Guild of America. In addition to writing screenplays, she has worked as assistant director since the 1970s. In 2004 she published her first novel, a fictionalized biography of jazz musician Valaida Snow.

Brett St. Louis is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research interests crystallise around: the conceptual and practical status of race.

Event Type: Panel discussion

Event venue: Human Rights Action Centre
Time: 7pm

Contact: 020 7729 9200

Price: £5.00
Online tickets:

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 21, 1964: The Murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner

August 1964: An earthen dam where bodies of Chaney, Goodman , and Schwerner were found. Federal agents can be seen collecting evidence. Photographer Bill Eppridge was not allowed access to the site so he rented a helicopter and flew overhead to get this picture. © Bill Eppridge

On June 21, 1964, three young civil rights workers—a 21-year-old black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24—were murdered near Philadelphia, in Nashoba County, Mississippi. They had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer and had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on trumped-up charges, imprisoned for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Klu Klux Klan who beat and murdered them. It was later proven in court that a conspiracy existed between members of Neshoba County's law enforcement and the Ku Klux Klan to kill them.

LIFE magazine sent Bill Eppridge to Neshoba County, Mississippi immediately after the news broke. There are no pictures of the crime - just the brutal aftermath, and the devastating grief and sorrow brought upon one family.

Mother and child at funeral: Mrs. Cheney and Young Ben

Family in car going to funeral: The Chaney family as they depart for the burial of James Chaney, Meridian, Mississippi, August 7, 1964

Bill Eppridge: The Chaney family as they depart for the burial of James Chaney, Meridian, Mississippi, August 7, 1964

The FBI arrested 18 men in October 1964, but state prosecutors refused to try the case, claiming lack of evidence. The federal government then stepped in, and the FBI arrested 18 in connection with the killings. In 1967, seven men were convicted on federal conspiracy charges and given sentences of three to ten years, but none served more than six. No one was tried on the charge or murder. The contemptible words of the presiding federal judge, William Cox, give an indication of Mississippi's version of justice at the time: "They killed one ni---r, one Jew, and a white man. I gave them all what I thought they deserved." Another eight defendants were acquitted by their all-white juries, and another three ended in mistrials. One of those mistrials freed Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen—believed to be the ringleader—after the jury in his case was deadlocked by one member who said she couldn't bear to convict a preacher.

Related: Neshoba: The Price of Freedom

Bill Eppridge's photographs of The Cheney Family and his coverage of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign were included in the exhibition "History's Big Picture", Monroe Gallery, July 1 - September 26, 2011

The photographs will also be featured in the exhibition "The Long Road: From Selma to Ferguson", Monroe gallery, July 3 - September 28, 2015.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Vancouver riot kiss
The kiss ... Vancouver riot police surround an embracing couple. Photograph: Rich Lam/Getty Images

An Interesting article from the Guardian Newspaper:

Vancouver's kiss of life

The last thing we expected was an authentically romantic picture to emerge from this rioting city of glass

Douglas Haddow, Friday 17 June 2011 18.10 BST

Vancouver, "the world's most livable city", has been devastated. Not so much by the riotous violence that came soon after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup, but by what the international media's coverage of the carnage may mean for the city's image.

City hall, the province of British Columbia, and indeed the federal government of Canada, are worried that potential tourists will no longer think of Vancouver as a city of yoga pants, sushi and skiing, but of mayhem and fire.

Despite all the sorrow and disgust expressed by Vancouverites over the PR fallout, one image, absent of violence or destruction, has come to define the riot.

We see a young couple laid out on the street, embraced in a kiss, juxtaposed between a blurry riot cop running towards the camera and a line of police charging a crowd in the background.

Once the photograph hit the internet, it became a viral phenomenon in minutes. Already the uncontested frontrunner for the photo of the year, it's being compared to other historical kisses like Robert Doisneau's 'The Kiss' and Alfred Eisenstadt's picture of a kissing couple in Times Square on VJ day.

At first glance, the photo seemed too good to be documentary fact. For many internet flâneurs, myself included, it was too romantic and poignant to be of this world. The breathless idealism of the lover's embrace was in such stark contrast to the mindless rampage occurring around them that the internet's cynical instincts kicked in.

How could such authenticity exist in Vancouver, a city of glass that has spent the last 20 years standing in as a discount soundstage for New York and Los Angeles. You'll find no romance in these streets, unless it's a bit of marketing-related artifice.

Shortly before going to bed in the very wee hours on Thursday morning, my suspicions seemed to be confirmed when I came across an alternate angle of the couple's moment, shot on a camera phone from above, that surely proved the kiss was either contrived or worse.

I immediately posted it on my Tumblr blog and woke up eight hours later to discover that I had unwittingly broken the story that the photograph was indeed not what it seemed. Thousands debated, some kept the faith, others declared that they didn't care if was real or not, and a few claimed they had lost all faith in humanity. A mystery was born. Was it real or not?

Over the following hours the story evolved.

An Australian woman contacted the media with what is apparently the inside scoop. Yes, the couple had been knocked to the ground, but they were fine – the photo taken at the very second the boyfriend gave his girlfriend a reassuring kiss amid the chaos.

When we look at the riot photos, images that are said to have permanently soiled Vancouver's reputation, we see young men acting out for the camera, revelling in the worst kind of apolitical theatre. Through the haze of this absurd and dispiriting pantomime, Richard Lam has captured an image of the rarest form. One that is as authentic as it is romantic and speaks to a present cultural context but also contains a certain timeless virtue.

What differentiates this riot from the countless other sports riots of the last decade is that Vancouver is pathologically self-aware. Its economy is dependent on the city's ability to portray itself as a quasi-utopia, and its citizens and politicians are obsessed with achieving the nebulous status of "world class".

The irony here is that Vancouver has at last produced an iconic image that rivals those of Paris and New York, but it needed to shatter its own fantasy to do so.


Jacques D'Amboise Playing with his Sons, Seattle, Washington, 1962

John Dominis: Jacques D'Amboise Playing with his Sons, Seattle, Washington, 1962

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"I have no words for what I saw there"

Kaho Imai, Watanoha Elementary School
Kaho Imai, Watanoha Elementary School

By eyecurious

Published: 15 June 2011
After the earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the Tohoku region of region on 11 March 2011, the photographer Aichi Hirano decided to distribute 50 disposable cameras to the people in the shelters around Ishinomaki. He succeeded in retrieving 27 of these 50 cameras and subsequently published the results on a website created for the project This is a piece I wrote about the Rolls Tohoku project. It was first published in Foam magazine issue #27, ‘Report’, which has just been released (the issue is really an fascinating exploration of what reporting means in photography today… don’t miss it). This summer the museum of photography in Stockholm, Fotografiska, will be exhibiting the Rolls Tohoku project from 7 July to 28 August. Rolls had a deep impact on me (as you will see from the following) and I urge you to take the time to spend some time looking at these photographs.

Japan lives with the constant threat of natural disasters. Located in a highly unstable sector of the Pacific Ring of Fire, it experiences hundreds, if not thousands of earthquakes every year and has become the best-prepared country in the world for quakes and the tsunamis which can follow. But nothing could have prepared the population for the gigantic quake and tsunami that devastated the Tohoku region of north-eastern Japan.

The earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 was very likely the most highly-mediatized natural disaster ever. Although a large tsunami hit parts of Southeast Asia in 2004, very few images emerged of the brief moments of impact of the tsunami, but rather of the destruction that it left behind. Amateur footage was released in Japan shortly after the quake and within minutes the Japanese national broadcaster NHK sent helicopters out in anticipation of the tsunami that was expected to hit the Tohoku coastline. The resulting images showed the black wave swallowing everything in its path. Over the next few hours more footage was released, most of it shot by amateurs, showing the impact of the wave up and down the Tohoku coast. The spellbinding images, which played back on television and computer screens around the world, captured the brutal power and relentlessness of the tsunami. Some of the footage was also imbued with an eerie sense of dread as houses and cars floated down streets that had been full of activity just a few minutes before. The scale of the devastation quickly became apparent and, although the number of confirmed deaths was initially low, the images suggested that a huge death toll was inevitable.

Yet, within days the situation in Tohoku had all but disappeared from the international media as the troubling developments at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began to monopolize the headlines. The towns of Minami Sanriku, Ishinomaki, Miyagi and Sendai that had been the center of attention until then receded into the shadow of Fukushima. A little over a week after the quake, I picked up a free newspaper on the Paris metro. The cover was a photograph of the Eiffel Tower on a hazy day, presumably taken weeks or months before. The headline read, ‘The Radioactive Cloud Arrives in France.’ The story had shifted from the tragedy that had befallen the people of Tohoku to the fear of what might happen to ‘us’. Within a week potassium iodide tablets had sold out as far away as Finland and the United States. Words like ‘meltdown’ or ‘radiation’ are so charged with meaning composited from science fiction and the very real horrors of Chernobyl or the fall-out from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that there was little space left in the collective imagination for scientific fact. As a narrative, the nuclear threat was infinitely more powerful: this was no longer just another tale of people’s suffering somewhere on the other side of the globe, but an invisible and very personal threat to each and every one of us.

Masaki Abe, Shidukawa Elementary School
Masaki Abe, Shidukawa Elementary School

Although, I have never lived in Japan I have visited the country regularly in recent years. My involvement with Japanese photography somehow made the events of 11 March feel deeply personal. In the days following the disaster I watched the news obsessively, hungry for any information at all, but finding very little. In the era of the 24-hour news cycle, information and stories are constantly recycled and updated, as the same images, the same tiny scraps of information get repeated over and over every hour. It was not until I heard the personal stories, of friends—a dear friend trapped in a bullet train in a freezing, pitch-black tunnel for over 24 hours and then travelling for two days to get back home, another who lost his mother to the giant wave and whose native town was totally destroyed—or indeed strangers—an 80-year-old woman and her grandson who survived together for nine days after the quake and who, when asked what he would like to be when he is older, replied ‘an artist’—that I was able to get beyond the huge, abstract idea of a natural disaster. As with these stories, the photographs in the Rolls project were the first that I saw that went beyond the surface of this tragic event.

When the earthquake hit on 11 March, a young photographer, Aichi Hirano, was showing his work in an exhibition entitled Rolls of One Week. Hirano explains, ‘At that time, I felt so powerless, being in the same country yet unable to do anything to reach out and help directly.’ To combat his sense of helplessness, he decided to distribute fifty disposable cameras to survivors displaced by the tsunami who had been evacuated to shelters in Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture. Hirano provided some loose directions on sheets of paper: ‘Please take photos of things you see with your eyes, things you want to record, remember, people near you, your loved ones, things you want to convey… please do so freely. And please enjoy the process if you can, even if it’s just a little bit.’ Of the 50 cameras he distributed, Hirano was able to retrieve 27, which he uploaded in their entirety to the website

Anonymous, around Ishinomaki
Anonymous, around Ishinomaki

Until Rolls, most of the images emerging from the Tohoku region focused on the spectacular devastation caused by the tsunami – cars piled on top of houses, forests of debris where villages had once stood. In the face of disaster, when we cannot believe our eyes, photography has often been used to fill that breach: to provide a visual record that captures events so shocking or spectacular that they are impossible to digest. Perhaps the most powerful recent examples were taken from satellites. Several news websites created an interactive display superimposing a satellite image taken on 12 March over an image taken some time before the tsunami. By swiping across the image the user shifts between before and after, revealing the huge areas of land that had been wiped clean by the wave. Although images like these are undeniably powerful, they have a strangely impersonal quality. They provide a macro perspective of the disaster, a kind of quantification of the scale of the devastation, but one which gives us no insight into the individual lives of those affected. By contrast, Rolls offers a deeply personal vision of the disaster from the perspective of those who have been directly affected. These images do not just show the pain and suffering of the victims, but also their joy, their relief and even the boredom and tedium that they experience as they seek to pass the time in their evacuation shelters.

For each roll we know only the photographer’s name, sex and whether they are an adult or a child. But perhaps it is wrong to use the term ‘photographer’. The very point of these images is that they were taken by amateurs. In contrast to the spectacle of the images that appear in the press, there is little that is at all remarkable about these photographs. In one roll a boy has photographed his stuffed toys one by one on a mat. In another (anonymous) roll, a donkey appears tied to a tree that is just beginning to blossom. The rolls are made up of small fragments like these which we cannot understand beyond the knowledge that they are parts of individuals’ lives, details which to them seemed important enough to photograph. They do not employ the visual language of photo-reportage or of fine art photography to convey a specific message. Their quiet, artless, unselfconscious quality makes these images all the more powerful, investing them with the directness of words spoken by a young child. Although images of destruction are also present, it is not the subject of the photographs, but instead a visual backdrop to the ordinary details of these people’s lives. In one roll such images appear as blurry glimpses from the window of a moving car, as if the reality of the destruction had yet to sink in.

Hirano’s exhortation to the survivors to ‘enjoy the process if you can’ can be seen in the shots, particularly those taken by children. We see laughter, friendship, play – elements that do not appear in conventional images of disaster, but which provide a fuller picture of the reality of life in its aftermath. These are not photographs of what has happened to these people or images that construct a narrative that seeks to make the disaster understandable. Instead, they form a part of people’s ongoing struggle to digest and comprehend what they have experienced and, more simply, of the need to carry on with their lives.

Masahiro Yamada, Ishinomaki day-care center
Masahiro Yamada, Ishinomaki day-care center

During my short visit to Japan in early April a powerful aftershock struck the Miyagi region. At the time, I was with a friend in a bar in Tokyo, after having been to yozakura, the tradition of viewing the cherry blossoms by night. This was my first experience of an earthquake: the entire room swayed back and forth for a few seconds before the shock subsided. Although everyone stayed calm, not moving from their seats, the recent events made the tension palpable. We spent the next minutes anxiously watching television for news from Miyagi. My friend was aware of the damage this aftershock would cause, particularly as she was due to visit the area soon afterwards. A few days later I received a message in which she wrote, “I have no words for what I saw there.” This failure of words has its parallel in photography: rarely do images effectively describe an event of this magnitude. These rolls of film from Tohoku come closer than anything else I have seen yet.

Photographic hep for Japan

Monday, June 13, 2011


Margaret Bourke-White working atop the Chrysler Building, NY 1934, Oscar Graubner

Margaret Bourke-White working atop the Chrysler Building, NY 1934
Photographed by her assistant, Oscar Graubner

Margaret Bourke-White was born on June 14, 1904, in New York City, and graduated from Cornell University in 1927. Choosing photography as a profession, she immediately began her dramatic career by experimenting with industrial subjects.

By 1929, Bourke-White’s reputation attracted the attention of the publisher Henry Luce, who engaged her as an associate editor for his FORTUNE magazine. Bourke-White was FORTUNE’s only photographer for the eight months prior to the publication of the first issue in February 1930. Throughout the next several years, there was no location or type of photography too difficult or too mundane for Bourke-White. She covered assignments throughout the United States, and traveled to Germany and Russia. In what would be just one of many “firsts," Bourke-White became the first foreign photographer allowed to take pictures of Russian industry.

Between 1930 and 1936, Bourke-White would return to Russia twice more and become the first foreign cinematographer to leave the country with motion pictures of its industry. In 1934 she photographed the Dust Bowl, and in 1935 began aviation photography for TWA and Eastern Airlines. In 1936, Bourke-White joined Peter Stackpole, Tom McAvoy, and Alfred Eisenstaedt as the first staff photographers for LIFE magazine. Her photograph of the great Fort Peck dam appeared on the first issue’s cover.

Bourke-White went on to cover the world, traveling to Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, China, and again to the Soviet Union. She was the only U.S. photographer present in Moscow as the Germans attacked Russia in 1941. Bourke-White became the first woman accredited as a war correspondent in 1942, and became the first woman to accompany an Air Force bombing mission (1943).


 Margaret Bourke-White In Her High Altitude Flight Suit (holding aerial camera, standing in front of B-17 "Flying Fortress" bomber), 1943. (c.Time Inc.)

In 1944, Bourke-White covered World-War II from Italy, eventually joining Patton’s army as it traveled through Germany in 1945. Among Bourke-White’s most haunting and memorable work are the pictures taken at Buchenwald.

 Buchenwald Prisoners, 1945 (Time Inc.)

Margaret Bourke-White: Buchenwald Prisoners, 1945 (c. Time Inc.)

Assignments for LIFE took Bourke-White throughout India, Japan, Korea, and South Africa. Bourke-White authored several books, including You Have Seen Their Faces, Shooting The Russian War, Purple Heart Valley, and Halfway To Freedom. There are numerous books written about her life and work as well as a 1960 made-for-television movie. She fought a heroic 20-year battle with Parkinson’s disease prior to her death in 1971.

Bourke-White’s photographs are included in many important museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1998, Sidney Monroe curated the the first significant exhibit of her work in many years at his New York gallery that featured the premiere of Estate authorized prints, and the centennial anniversary of her birth was celebrated with the exhibition “Margaret Bourke-White At 100” at Monroe Gallery of Photography, April 2 – June 27, 2004.

Several of Bourke-White's iconic photographs will be included in the exhibition "History's Big Picture", Monroe Gallery of Photography, July 1 - September 25, 2011.

Friday, June 10, 2011



Art 42 Basel takes place June 15 – 19, 2011.

The world's premier international art show for Modern and contemporary works, Art Basel features nearly 300 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. More than 2,500 artists, ranging from the great masters of Modern art to the latest generation of emerging stars, are represented in the show's multiple sections. The exhibition includes the highest-quality paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, video and editioned works.

62,500 people attended Art 41 Basel, the last edition of this favorite rendezvous for the global artworld, including art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and other art enthusiasts.

With its world-class museums, outdoor sculptures, theaters, concert halls, idyllic medieval old town and new buildings by leading architects, Basel ranks as a culture capital, and that cultural richness helps put the Art Basel week on the agenda for art lovers from all over the globe. During Art Basel, a fascinating atmosphere fills this traditional city, as the international art show is reinforced with exhibitions and events all over the region.

Located on the banks of the Rhine, at the border between Switzerland, France and Germany, Basel is easily navigated by foot and trams. On this website you can find practical information about visiting Art Basel, photos of past shows, press releases, and information concerning participating galleries and artists. To stay current on developments for the 2011 show, join our mailing list and you will receive updates as information becomes available.

Visitor Information


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Glance: LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

Courtesy Massimo Vitali

The beach at Coney Island, NY from his latest book Natural Habitats exhibited at Chroma Arts Project June 3-26

Via TIME Light Box

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

By Vaughn Wallace

First Glance: LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

An international photo festival in Charlottesville, Virginia? On paper, it seems an unlikely fit.

“Don’t kid yourself,” warns Scott Thode, editor of VII The Magazine and a guest curator of the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. “There’s a real appreciation for photography here.”

After one year off, the three-day photography event returns to Charlottesville, Virginia June 9-11 with a lineup of exhibitions, outdoor projections and a lecture series curated by Thode and Kathy Ryan, director of photography for The New York Times Magazine.

Courtesy Shannon Wells

A captivated audience watches WORKS, the final Saturday night projection at the 2009 festival.

Each year’s festival centers around three core photographers, called INSight artists, who present an exhibition and participate in on-stage interviews to speak about their process, inspiration and work. This year’s honorees are Antonin Kratochvil, Massimo Vitali, and Nan Goldin, —all artists presenting work during the festival’s MASTERS Talks series. Each of their shows will focus on the theme of “HOME.”

Thode says the festival theme came to him as he was working on Kratochvil’s show (titled “Homeland”)—the photographer had just moved back to Prague after 40 years of exile. “This whole idea occurred to me that he was going home, and this idea of home, and of building his show around the concept of home came to me,” says Thode. “It’s a very loose concept… it’s about friends, it’s about coming back and having a place of meeting and carrying about each other… things like that.”

Though the title of Goldin’s exhibition, “Scopophilia” is derived from the Greek words “scopo” (to look) and “philia” (love of friends), her collection of images was actually inspired by a moment of solitude in the Louvre museum in Paris. Meanwhile, Vitali’s exhibition examines human communities, with several images depicting groups of people in nature.

Mary Ellen Mark, Christopher Anderson, Ashley Gilbertson, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Steve McCurry, among other photographers, will present work and participate in the nightly MASTERS Talk Series.

Courtesy Zach Wiginton

The 2009 TREES exhibit featured wildlife photographer To Mangelsen's work. The banners hang in trees along the Downtown Mall throughout the month of June.

Rounding out the event will be the TREES exhibit, in which George Steinmetz’s aerial photographs of global landscapes will be projected onto banners in the trees along the city’s downtown pedestrian mall. “The town just lends itself perfectly to a festival like this,” Thode says. “And it’s got the atmosphere of people who really enjoy themselves.”

— Reporting by Feifei Sun. Produced by Vaughn Wallace.

The LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph begins on Thursday, June 9th, and continues through Sunday, June 11th. A complete schedule of events is available at The festival has sold out of passes, although a special “Big Love” pass is still available.

Monday, June 6, 2011

D-DAY: JUNE 6, 1944

 Men of the 16th Infantry Regiment seek shelter from German machine-gun fire in shallow waterbehind "Czech hedgehog" beach obstacles, Easy Red sector, Omaha Beach.
© Robert Capa/Magnum Photos.

The Magnificent Eleven: The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa


When soldiers of the 16th Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, photographer Robert Capa, in the employ of LIFE magazine, was among them.

Perhaps the best known of all World War II combat photographers, the Hungarian-born Capa had made a name for himself well before climbing into a landing craft with men of Company E in the early morning hours of D-Day. He risked his life on more than one occasion during the Spanish Civil War and had taken what is considered the most eerily fascinating of all war photographs. The famous image reportedly depicts the death of Spanish Loyalist militiaman Frederico Borrell Garcia as he is struck in the chest by a Nationalist bullet on a barren Iberian hillside.

Capa was known to say, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough." On D-Day, he came close once again. With Capa standing in the very stern, his landing craft mistakenly came ashore at the section of Omaha Beach dubbed "Easy Red." Then the ramp went down.

"The flat bottom of our barge hit the earth of France," Capa remembered in his book Slightly Out of Focus. "The boatswain lowered the steel-covered barge front, and there, between the grotesque designs of steel obstacles sticking out of the water, was a thin line of land covered with smoke — our Europe, the 'Easy Red' beach.

"My beautiful France looked sordid and uninviting, and a German machine gun, spitting bullets around the barge, fully spoiled my return. The men from my barge waded in the water. Waist-deep, with rifles ready to shoot, with the invasion obstacles and the smoking beach in the background gangplank to take my first real picture of the invasion. The boatswain, who was in an understandable hurry to get the hell out of there, mistook my picture-taking attitude for explicable hesitation, and helped me make up my mind with a well-aimed kick in the rear. The water was cold, and the beach still more than a hundred yards away. The bullets tore holes in the water around me, and I made for the nearest steel obstacle. A soldier got there at the same time, and for a few minutes we shared its cover. He took the waterproofing off his rifle and began to shoot without much aiming at the smoke-hidden beach. The sound of his rifle gave him enough courage to move forward, and he left the obstacle to me. It was a foot larger now, and I felt safe enough to take pictures of the other guys hiding just like I was."

Capa was squeezing off photographs as he headed for a disabled American tank. He remembered feeling "a new kind of fear shaking my body from toe to hair, and twisting my face." With great difficulty his trembling hands reloaded his camera. All the while he repeated a sentence that he had picked up during the Spanish Civil War: "Es una cosa muy seria" ("This is a very serious business").

After what seemed an eternity, Capa turned away from the beach killing zone and spotted an incoming LCI (landing craft, infantry). He headed for it. "I did not think and I didn't decide it," he later wrote. "I just stood up and ran toward the boat. I knew that I was running away. I tried to turn but couldn't face the beach and told myself, 'I am just going to dry my hands on that boat.'"

With his cameras held high to keep them from getting waterlogged, Capa was pulled aboard the LCI and was soon out of harm's way. He had used three rolls of film and exposed 106 frames. After reaching England, he sped by train to London and delivered his precious film for developing.

A darkroom technician was almost as anxious to see the invasion images as Capa himself. In his haste, the technician dried the film too quickly. The excess heat melted the emulsion on all but 10 of the frames. Those that remained were blurred, surreal shots, which succinctly conveyed the chaos and confusion of the day.

Capa's D-Day photos have become classics. One of them, depicting a GI struggling through the churning surf of Omaha Beach, has survived as the definitive image of the Normandy invasion. He went on to photograph the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. He also photographed his friends Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, as well as film star Ingrid Bergman, with whom he reportedly had a love affair.

After that, having cheated death so many times, Capa vowed never to risk his life in wartime photography again. In 1954, however, he agreed to supply LIFE with some photos of the escalating conflict between the French and the Viet Minh in Indochina. That spring, while attempting to get as close to the fighting as possible, he stepped on a land mine and was killed at the age of 40.

Capa's shot of a victorious Yank graced the May 14, 1945 cover of LIFE.

Robert Capa is one of many wartime photographers who have risked their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice to capture the essence of desperate combat on film. Frozen in time and etched in our collective memory, the D-Day photos speak volumes about courage and sacrifice.

John G. Morris, 1998


"I had rehearsed my part in every detail, from the moment the raw film arrived in London to the transfer of prints and negatives to the courier who would take them to the States — with a stop at the censor's office in between."

– John G. Morris

"Dennis came bounding up the stairs and into my office, sobbing. 'They're ruined! Ruined! Capa's films are all ruined!'"

– John G. Morris

The Editor: John Morris


Something woke me early on the morning of Tuesday, June 6, 1944. I drew the blackout curtain and saw that it was just another dull, gray day, colder than an English spring had any right to be. The streets were empty, and I was alone in the flat I shared with Frank Scherschel on Upper Wimpole Street in London's West End. He had departed — vanished, actually, without saying a word — several days earlier for his battle station, a camouflaged airfield from which he would fly reconnaissance over the English Channel to photograph the largest armada ever assembled. My job was to stay behind, to edit those and other photos for LIFE as picture editor of the London bureau.

I dressed as usual in olive drab, turned on the radio, made tea and read the papers, which of course had nothing to report. Then, at 8:32 London time, the bulletin came over the BBC:

"Under command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces, supported by strong Allied air forces, began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France."

"This is it," I whispered to myself, uttering the very words that Joe Liebling of The New Yorker later called "the great cliché of the Second World War." I hurried to the TIME-LIFE office in Soho, even though there wouldn't be much for me to do — for many hours, as it turned out.

I had been waiting eight months for this day. There had been a false alarm on Saturday, when a young telegrapher in the Associated Press London bureau, practicing to get up her speed, had put out an erroneous bulletin:


It had been corrected within a minute — "Bust that flash" — but it had sent a wave of panic through both Allied and German headquarters. Now it was for real. Tuesday was a good D-Day for LIFE. Our job was to furnish action pictures for the next issue, dated June 19, which would close on Saturday in New York, and appear the following week. Wirephotos, of poor quality and limited selection, would not do; besides, they would be available to newspapers through the pool. Our only hope to meet the deadline was to send original prints and negatives, as many as possible, in a pouch that would leave Grosvenor Square by motorcycle courier at precisely 9:00 a.m. London time on Thursday. The courier would take it to a twin-engine plane standing by at an airdrome near London. At Prestwick, Scotland, the base for transatlantic flights, the pouch would be transferred to a larger plane. After one or two fuel stops, it would arrive in Washington, D.C., and our pictures would be hand-carried to New York on Saturday.

I had rehearsed my part in every detail, from the moment the raw film arrived in London to the transfer of prints and negatives to the courier who would take them to the States — with a stop at the censor's office in between. Clearing the censors at the Ministry of Information was by now a familiar routine. Their office was on the ground floor of the University of London's tall central building, which backed onto Bedford Square. Available twenty-four hours a day, the censors were cooperative, as censors go, permitting us to sit alongside them as they worked. Our photographers knew to avoid the faces of Allied dead, shoulder patches that revealed unit designations, and "secret" weapons (although by now most were known to the enemy) — so the work was for the most part pro forma. But it was tedious in the extreme, since every single print had to be stamped, after which the censor bundled all the acceptable material into an envelope and sealed it, using a special tape imprinted with the words PASSED FOR PUBLICATION. Without the tape, it could not leave the country.

Getting the packet by car to the courier at Grosvenor Square, about a mile from the ministry, looked simple on the map, but the most direct way, down Oxford Street, was often jammed with double-decker buses, so I devised a parallel route on a series of side streets: Hollen to Noel to Great Marlborough to Hanover to Brook (I can remember every turn five decades later). This put me onto the wrong side of Grosvenor Square, but the final fifty yards could be covered on foot — while running at top speed. I left the little two-door Austin sedan Time Inc. had given me to its own fate. It was not uncommon for joyriders to take it out for a spin when I worked late, but that was no problem. A call to Scotland Yard was all that was necessary. The car would invariably be found as soon as the thief ran out of what little petrol was in the tank.

For the Normandy invasion, there were twelve photographers accredited for the wire services and six for LIFE. (In the photo at left, taken one week before disembarkation in Normandy, are (top) from left to right: Bob Landry, George Rodger, Frank Scherschel, and Bob Capa. Bottom, John Morris (Editor) stands between Ralph Morse and David Scherman.) Only four press photographers were supposed to land with the first wave of American infantry on D-Day itself, and we managed to get two of the spots, for Bob Landry and Robert Capa. Both were veterans — Capa would be on the fifth front of his third major war. Although often unlucky at cards and horses, Capa nevertheless used a gambling metaphor to describe his situation on D-Day in his 1947 memoir-novel, Slightly Out of Focus: "The war correspondent has his stake — his life — in his own hands, and he can put it on this horse or that horse, or he can put it back in his pocket at the very last minute ... I am a gambler. I decided to go in with Company E in the first wave."

Bob Landry also felt obliged to accept this dubious privilege. The other LIFE assignments sorted themselves out. Frank Scherschel stuck with his buddies in the Air Force. David Scherman chose the Navy. George Rodger accompanied the British forces, under General Bernard Montgomery. Ralph Morse's assignment was General George Patton's Third Army, but since it would not hit the beachhead until later, he boarded a landing ship whose job it was to pick up casualties — of which there would be plenty.

Who would get the first picture? Bad weather prevented good general views from either air (Scherschel) or sea (Scherman). Rodger, landing with the British on an undefended beach, "walked ashore in a blaze of anti-climax," as he put it in typically modest understatement. All day Tuesday we waited, and no pictures. It was rumored that one Signal Corps photographer had been killed in the first hours, but it turned out that he had "only" lost a leg. Late on Tuesday night Bert Brandt of Acme Newspictures, having scarcely gotten his feet wet, returned to London with a first picture!, but not a terribly exciting one, of a momentarily unopposed landing on the French coast, shot from the bow of his landing craft. Landry's film — and his shoes — somehow got lost. A disaster. I had been told that AP would have the fourth first-wave spot, but not one of their six photographers landed that day. So it was entirely up to Capa to capture the action, and where was he? Hour after hour went by. We were now waiting in the gloom of Wednesday, June 7, keeping busy by packaging the "background pictures," all of relatively little interest, that now flooded in from official sources. The darkroom staff — all five of them — had been standing by idly since Tuesday morning, their anxiety about the pressure they would be under growing steadily by the hour. This nervousness would soon result in an epic blunder.

At about 6:30 Wednesday evening, the call came in from a Channel port: Capa's film was on the way. "You should get it in an hour or two," a voice crackled over the line before fading into static. I shared this information with pool editor E. K. Butler of AP, a feisty little martinet whose nickname was "Colonel." He snapped back, "All I want is pictures, not promises!" Around nine, a panting messenger arrived with Capa's little package: four rolls of 35-millimeter film plus half a dozen rolls of 120 film (2 1/4 by 2 1/4 inches) that he had taken in England and on the Channel crossing. A scrawled note said that the action was all in the 35-millimeter, that things had been very rough, that he had come back to England unintentionally with wounded being evacuated, and that he was on his way back to Normandy.

Braddy, our lab chief, gave the film to young Dennis Banks to develop. Photographer Hans Wild looked at it wet and called up to me to say that the 35-millimeter, though grainy, looked "fabulous!" I replied, "We need contacts - rush, rush, rush!" Again I phoned Butler through the AP switchboard, but he could only bellow, "When do I get pictures?" Brandt's wirephoto of troops landing apparently unopposed had scarcely satisfied the West's desperate need to believe in the actuality of invasion. A few minutes later Dennis came bounding up the stairs and into my office, sobbing. "They're ruined! Ruined! Capa's films are all ruined!" Incredulous, I rushed down to the darkroom with him, where he explained that he had hung the films, as usual, in the wooden locker that served as a drying cabinet, heated by a coil on the floor. Because of my order to rush, he had closed the doors. Without ventilation the emulsion had melted.

I held up the four rolls, one at a time. Three were hopeless; nothing to see. But on the fourth roll there were eleven frames with distinct images. They were probably representative of the entire 35-millimeter take, but their grainy imperfection — perhaps enhanced by the lab accident — contributed to making them among the most dramatic battlefield photos ever taken. The sequence began as Capa waded through the surf with the infantry, past antitank obstacles that soon became tombstones as men fell left and right. This was it, all right. D-Day would forever be known by these pictures.

One more ordeal lay ahead. We now had only a few hours to get our picture packet through the censors, and in addition to Capa's we had hundreds of other photos, the best from Dave Scherman of matters just before the landing. The British and Canadians had covered invasion preparations for days, as had the U.S. Army Signal Corps and the Navy and Air Force photographers. Nobody really cared now about such pictures, but we dutifully sent them on.

At 3:30 on Thursday morning, pictures in hand — including Capa's precious eleven — I drove my Austin through deserted streets to the Ministry of Information, where I had to wait my turn. Ours was the largest picture shipment of the week, and I almost wished I could throw all but the Capa shots overboard in the interest of time. Finally, about 8:30, the censor finished putting his stamp on all the pictures. I stuffed the big envelope, and then it happened. The censor's specially imprinted tape stuck fast to its roll. It simply would not peel off. We tried another roll. Same result. This went on for minutes that seemed hours, and I had to deliver the packet to the courier, a mile away, by nine o'clock — our only chance to make the deadline after eight months!

I left the ministry at about 8:45 and drove like a maniac through the scattered morning traffic, down the little side streets, reaching the edge of Grosvenor Square at 8:59. I ran the last fifty yards and found the courier, in the basement of the Service of Supply headquarters, about to padlock his sack. "Hold it!" I shouted, and he did.

Just after LIFE's Saturday-night close, the editors cabled,


I could only think of the pictures lost. How was I going to face Capa?

PHOTOS 1-5 (14 K)

The D-Day landing print will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition: "History's Big Picture" at Monroe Gallery of Photograpjhy July 1 - September 26, 2011.

Related: The Photographic Collection of John G. Morris

The National World War II Museum

Saturday, June 4, 2011

JUNE 5 -- 1968

Robert Kennedy
Bill Eppridge: Bobby and Ethel face a jubiliant crowd in the ballroom of ther Ambassador Hotel after his victory in the California Primary, June 5, 1968 ©Time Inc.

Of course, every great photographer has that one picture, an icon, which sometimes even distracts attention from his other work. For Bill Eppridge that's the one taken in the early hours of June 5th, 1968.

After the campaigns of '66 and '68, in a time when there was no Secret Service protection for presidential candidates, when press contingents were small and access available for the asking, he could even call the senator a friend. So too did millions of Americans whose only connection to Robert Kennedy was that they saw in him hope for the future.

I well remember thinking how exciting it was for Bill and reporter Sylvia Wright to be so very close to RFK during that campaign. To me, he was "real" and he was young, and it was the first time I would be old enough to vote. Somehow he would deal with Vietnam and our recovery from Dr. King's assassination. He was the antidote to the spirit of disharmony so many of us felt.

The events in Los Angeles that day and the next are best told by Bill for there's the knowledge and a sensitivity that come with the intimacy of his experience.

At the home office here in New York it had been a fairly typical Tuesday evening. That meant that a respectable number of the Life staff were to be found in a local bar. The magazine closed on a Wednesday and so, while it may have been latish, it was early to go home, and we didn't have to return to work. It was easy to find volunteers to keep the bar open.

Successful at last negotiating my key into my apartment's lock, by now it was really quite late and I tried desperately not to disturb my roommate. But Susan was awake, not because of my antics but because of the horrific news from California. She welcomed me with: "Bobby has just been shot."

 Busboy Juan Romero tries to comfort Presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy after assassination attempt, June 5, 1968
 Bill Eppridge: Busboy Juan Romero tries to comfort Presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy after assassination attempt, June 5, 1968  ©Time Inc.

I'll never forget the way she screamed at me to get back to the office immediately. Obviously, in 1968, there were no cell phones, and they had frantically been trying to reach the bar-crawling picture department.

Gathered again somberly on the 29th floor, we shed our tears, but went to work quickly and professionally. We spent three days, 'round-the-clock, putting together the regular and a special issue. We had the convenience of office showers in those days and they, and the adrenaline, refreshed us. For the cover, we chose Bill's very serene and touching picture of Bobby running down the beach with his dog, Freckles; the assassination photograph went inside.

Bill's film had been processed in Los Angeles and, despite some pushing, needed further coaxing in our New York lab to produce the single print from which we could engrave. The negatives were handed to me for safekeeping, and I, discreetly, placed them under my large, and badly faded green desk blotter.

I wasn't the most obvious person for the two burly FBI agents to question about the whereabouts of the film when they hesitated at my desk, but my helpful and rather disingenuous "I know that whoever has the negatives will certainly help you gentlemen out by making really big prints for you to study" seemed to move them along. "We will obviously do whatever we can to cooperate, especially at a time like this."

The miniskirt too may have helped them believe in my innocence. But it was a different time: No cell phone, but a desk blotter, and even negatives. There was certainly no Department of Homeland Security. We were anxious to help, but with one negative, possibly the best lab in the country, and no such thing as a digital copy, we weren't taking a chance on losing that negative and its image.

Bobby lingered for almost 26 hours after the shooting, and Bill flew into New York, later meeting the senator's coffin at the airport, attending the service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and being invited on to the funeral train to Arlington.

Bill and I spent a considerable amount of time together over that couple of days although it's difficult to calculate where those hours came from. My most vivid memory is of a quiet dinner shared, both crying and comforting one another. I was, and remain, in absolute awe of how he had the wits about him to capture so memorably that horrible moment. I asked him directly: "What was going on in your mind? Your dear friend had just been shot. How could you think that quickly under those circumstances?"

He explained – he talked about his reaction to the sound of the .22-caliber shots, and what he instinctively understood when he looked down at the man. There was nothing he could do to save him. There were plenty of other people to tend to him. So, his duty was to his profession, and, struggling to keep his emotions in check, he took one of the most significant photographs of the 20th century.

Many have described the picture as having a Pietà-like quality. Jack Newfield saw something religious too, and something more: "The expression on Robert Kennedy's face seems serene and accepting," he wrote, "his arms spread like Jesus on the Cross. The face of Juan Romero, a 17-year-old busboy who loved Kennedy and served him the night before, is shocked and appalled. Robert Kennedy's mood that last night was serene and liberated. The bullet arrived so swiftly it did not have time to alter the emotions Bob's face was reflecting in the final moments of his conscious life. Each time I see this photo I think it should be called 'History Slipping Through Our Fingers.' That's when history slipped through our fingers, leaving behind a photograph with its tragic traces of promises."

It's those promises that I have missed.

As is often said about the Sixties, they didn't end merely to conform with the calendar. By 1973, Life had ceased publishing as a weekly and Bill, after a short stint at People magazine, moved on to Sports Illustrated. "I wasn't shooting baseball, basketball or football," explains Bill, although of course he did shoot all three. "My motto is sports with no balls."

--Excerpted from "Bill Eppridge: A Personal Reflection on the Photographer in a Tumultuous Time"
June 2008
by Barbara Baker Burrows
via The Digital Journalist

Related: The burned master print of "Robert F. Kennedy Shot"