Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Bob Gomel : Eyewitness - When history was made, he was there

Via Bob Gomel Eyewitness

Bob Gomel and David Scarbrough share a love of storytelling through photography.

During the past decade, the two men and their spouses, Sandy Gomel and Mary Scarbrough, became friends. Bob’s shot of The Beatles in poolside lounge chairs hangs in the Scarbroughs’ home. It was Mary’s birthday gift to David for his 60th birthday.

David said, “The history Bob witnessed is important. So are the effort and creativity necessary to make extraordinary images of these historic moments. Many of the images are made even more powerful by Bob’s perspective on how they were created.”

David convinced Bob to reflect on his work for LIFE magazine in the 1960s and his subsequent career. Over dinner one evening, the Scarbroughs proposed making a documentary of Bob’s career. Bob said, “David offered a compelling idea to consider. After a few days, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

The documentary project came together quickly. A small studio was set up in Scarbrough’s retail computer electronics shop in Houston. Sessions were shot on Sundays when the shop was closed and outside noise was minimal. As many filmmakers do now, David chose to record the videos in 4K on two iPhones in a two-shot setup. A MacBook Pro and Adobe Premier Pro would be used to edit the video.

The recordings began with a discussion of the Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston fights. The project quickly gained momentum, as David executed his vision for the project, and the stories of more of the epic photos came to life.

“The challenge was to balance Bob’s unique ability to talk about the images and history, and to ensure the viewer remained immersed in the image itself,” David said. “I hope the viewer can briefly live in the moment of the images.”

Bob said, “The decade of the 1960s was historically powerful. We witnessed so much — from the terrific to the terrible. I’m grateful that David remains interested in the history of the 1960s and that his documentary helped share my perspective on the extraordinary events of the decade and on my life as a photographer.”

Ray Macland, the LIFE Picture Editor in 1960, hired a group of young photographers he dubbed “The Young Lions”. There were 5 of us - 

Farrell Grehan, Ken Hyman, Bill Ray, John Loengard & myself.

"With John Loengard's passing on May 24, 2020, that leaves just me."

Monday, May 25, 2020

John Loengard 1934 - 2020

John Loengard: Brassai's Eye, Paris, 1981

LIFE magazine photographer John Loengard passed away May 24 in New York City at age 86.
John Loengard was born in New York City in 1934, and received his first assignment from LIFE magazine in 1956, while still an undergraduate at Harvard College. He joined the magazine's staff in 1961, and in 1978 was instrumental in its re-birth as a monthly, serving as picture editor until 1987. Under his guidance in 1986, LIFE received the first award for "Excellence in Photography" given by the American Society of Magazine Editors.
 After LIFE magazine suspended weekly publication in 1972, Loengard joined Time Incorporated’s Magazine Development Group as the picture editor of LIFE Special Reports. He was also picture editor of People magazine during its conception in 1973 and the first three months of its publication in 1974
In 2005, American Photo magazine identified Loengard as “One of the 100 most influential people in photography,” and in 2018 he was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame.
In 1996, Loengard received a Lifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of his multifaceted contributions to photojournalism," from Photographic Administrators Inc.

Loengard authored ten books, including: Pictures Under Discussion, which won the Ansel Adams Award for book photography in 1987, Celebrating the Negative, and Georgia O'Keeffe at Ghost Ranch. His book, LIFE Photographers: What They Saw, was named one of the year's ten top books for 1998 by the New York Times

John Loengard: Henry Moore's 'Sheep Piece", 1983

John Loengard: Georgia O'Keeffe with basket, 1966


Friday, May 15, 2020

Covid-19 Safe Operating Procedures

Monroe Gallery of Photography will reopen effective May 18, 2020 under state-mandated guidelines to ensure the safest gallery visit possible with your cooperation. The gallery will limit the number of visitors to approximately 10 people at a time. In accordance with mandated health guidelines face masks are required and visitors must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. The Gallery will be regularly cleaned and viewers will have a completely touch-free viewing of the exhibitions. The Gallery will provide hand sanitizer and all sales transactions will be contact-free.

In addition, we will be offering private access to the gallery for 30 minutes by reservation. You may optionally bring one additional guest to your private visit. Please reserve your private viewing request via email. All requests for private viewing will receive confirmation within 24 hours. Private appointments will have priority over our public access times.

These procedures may change at any time based on updated guidance from the state. We appreciate your patience as we all navigate this new situation. We extend our concern and gratitude to our community, near and far.

--Sidney and Michelle Monroe

Friday, May 8, 2020

Tony Vaccaro on VE Day - 'We Just Did Our Bit:' WWII Vets Recall War 75 Years Later

Photo by Maria Vaccaro

Via the New York Times
May 8, 2020

LONDON — Seventy-five years after World War II ended in Europe,
The Associated Press spoke to veterans who endured mortal danger,
oppression and fear. As they mark Victory in Europe Day on
 Friday, they also are dealing with loneliness brought on by the
coronavirus pandemic. Here is some of their testimony.


Tony Vaccaro is one of the few people alive who can claim to
 have survived the Battle of Normandy and COVID-19.

He was dealt a bad hand early, as his mother died during
childbirth a few years before tuberculosis claimed his father.
 By age 5, he was an orphan in Italy, enduring beatings from
an uncle. By World War II he was an American G.I.

Now, at age 97, he is recovering from COVID-19. He attributes
his longevity to “blind luck, red wine” and determination.

To me, the greatest thing that you can do is challenge the world,”
 he said. “And most of these challenges I win. That’s what keeps
me going.”

Vaccaro’s grit carried him into a lifetime of photography that
began as a combat infantryman when he stowed a camera and
captured close to 8,000 photographs.

One of his famous images,
Kiss of Liberation,” showed a U.S. sergeant kissing a French 
girl at the end of Nazi occupation.

Vaccaro documented the reconstruction of Europe and
returned to the U.S. where he worked for magazines
such as Look and Life and has fond memories of
photographing celebrities including Sophia Loren, J
ohn. F. Kennedy, Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso.

Vaccaro lives in Queens, the New York City borough ravaged
by the coronavirus, and next to his family.

He might have caught the virus in April from his son or in
their neighborhood, his daughter-in-law Maria said. He was in
the hospital two days and spent another week recovering.

“That was it,” she said. “He’s walking around like nothing happened.”

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Current Exhibition On-Line: LIFE: Defining Photography

We are unable to present our scheduled exhibitions in person. In this difficult time of social distancing, as a very small measure, we hope viewing our exhibits, current and past, on our website brings you enjoyment

The Albuquerque Journal
April 26, 2020

Life through the lens: Online exhibition showcases iconic imagery from the acclaimed magazine

"Mickey Mantle Having a Bad Day at Yankee Stadium, New York, 1965” by John Dominis/Life Picture Collection (Courtesy of Monroe Gallery)

Santa Fe’s Monroe Gallery of Photography is affirming that legacy while giving a nod to social distancing with the online exhibition “Life: Defining Photography” on view at monroegallery.com.

The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 1, 2020

The exhibition LIFE: Defining Photography includes work by Bill Ray, Alfred Eisenstaedt, and Margaret Bourke-White.

LIFE at Monroe

Bill Ray, Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, Madison Square Garden, New York, May 19, 1962 (1962), gelatin silver print