Thursday, November 24, 2022

Celebrating Tony Vaccaro’s cinematic photography Life behind the lens

 Via Huck

November 24, 2022

Text by Miss Rosen

Photography © Tony Vaccaro courtesy of Monroe Gallery

A new exhibition is marking the photographer’s 100th birthday with a look back at his extraordinary career.

Photographer Tony Vaccaro, who celebrates his 100th birthday on 20 December 2022, has lead a life as cinematic as the pictures he’s made. In honour of his 80-year career, gallerist Sid and Michelle Monroe are curating Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition, two major shows in New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Featuring works from the photographer’s storied career, The Centennial Exhibition brings together images made while Vaccaro was serving on the frontlines of World War II, and later as a portrait and fashion photographer for Life, Flair, and Harper’s Bazaar during the golden age of magazines.

Whether photographing fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy in the atelier with Hollywood icon Eartha Kitt or art collector Peggy Guggenheim relaxing in a Venetian gondola, Vaccaro crafted exquisite portraits of the 20th century’s most influential artists, actors, filmmakers, leaders, and luminaries.

Tony’s sensitivity to his subjects was derived from his early hardship as an orphan in Italy,” say the Monroes, who began working with the photographer in 2016. At the age of four, both Vaccaro’s parents died, and he was sent to live with an aunt and uncle. His early years were marked by physical and emotional abuse, and as soon as World War II erupted, he returned to the U.S., the nation of his birth.

Vaccaro took up photography in high school, a skill that served him well when he was drafted to serve in the 83rd Infantry Division, nicknamed ‘Thunderbolt’. As a scout, Vaccaro photographed the frontlines of battle in Normandy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany – despite being wounded twice.

“After the war, Tony replaced the searing images of horror embedded in his memory by focusing on the splendour of life,” say the Monroes. “His experiences left a deep wound in his being, and in response he made a conscious decision to celebrate beauty and creativity.”

color photo of Eartha Kitt and Givenchy, Paris, 1961

Eartha Kitt and Givenchy, Paris, 1961

Comfortable with a full range of cameras in the studio and the field, the photographer could easily adapt to whatever the moment might demand. “Whenever possible, he preferred to spend days, if not weeks, with his subjects, to create a natural relationship between him and his subject,” the Monroes say.

Vaccaro, who has survived two bouts of Covid, remains incredibly active, maintaining his running practice, which he established as a high school athlete in the 1940s. Now enjoying a career renaissance, he has been enthusiastically involved in the exhibition preparations and is excited to share his work with new audiences.

“To this day, Tony speaks passionately about man’s inhumanity to man,” the Monroes say. “He is among the few remaining veterans of an actual fight against fascism, Nazism, and dictatorships.”

They share a quote from Vaccaro, whose life experience has taught him the necessity of unity: “We call each other German, French, Italian. There is no Italian blood. There is no French blood. It’s human blood. On this Earth there is one humanity. In a way, photography was my way of telling the world, ‘We have better things to do that to kill ourselves.’”

color photo of Extras in windows of building and sitting outside on the set of 8 1/2, Lazio, Italy, 1962

Extras on the set of 8 1/2, Lazio, Italy, 1962

Givenchy getting out of his car inParis, 1961

Givenchy Paris, 1961

Georgia O’Keeffe on her Abiquiu Portal with cow skull over doorway , NM 1960

Georgia O’Keeffe Abiquiu Portal, NM 1960

Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition is on view November 25, 2022 – January 15, 2023 at Monroe Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and December 13–18, 2022 at 21 Spring Street in New York City. 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Tony Vaccaro photography exhibits celebrate his 100th birthday


Via See Great Art

November 17, 2022

model in architectural hat resembling the Guggenheim Museum in front of the Guggenheim museum in NY, 1960


Monroe Gallery of Photography will present two major exhibitions celebrating Tony Vaccaro’s 100th birthday. “Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition” opens in Santa Fe, NM on Friday, November 25, with Tony Vaccaro appearing remotely live from his New York home at 5:30 pm. The exhibition will continue through January 15, 2023.

A special satellite Tony Vaccaro photography exhibit presented by Monroe Gallery will be on view at 21 Spring Street in New York, December 13 – 18. Tony Vaccaro will be in attendance for a private reception Thursday, December 15, from 5-7 pm.; RSVP mandatory, please contact the Gallery if you’re interested in attending (505.992.0800; E-mail:

The exhibits span Tony Vaccaro photography 80-year career and feature several never-before-exhibited photographs.

Born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1922, Tony Vaccaro spent the first years of his life in the village of Bonefro, Italy after his family left America under threat from the Mafia. His mother died during childbirth a few years before tuberculosis claimed his father. By age 5, he was an orphan in Italy, raised by an uncaring aunt and enduring beatings from an uncle. By World War II he was an American G.I., drafted into the war, and by June, now a combat infantryman in the 83rd Infantry Division, he was on a boat heading toward Omaha Beach, six days after the first landings at Normandy. Denied access to the Signal Corps, Tony was determined to photograph the war, and had his portable 35mm Argus C-3 with him from the start. For the next 272 days he photographed his personal witness to the brutality of war.

After the war, Tony remained in Germany to photograph the rebuilding of the country for “Stars and Stripes” magazine. Returning to the US in 1950, Tony started his career as a commercial photographer, eventually working for virtually every major publication: Look, LIFE, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Newsweek, and many more. Tony went on to become one the most sought-after photographers of his day.

As an antidote to man’s inhumanity, Tony Vaccaro photography focused his lens on those who gave of themselves: artists, writers, movie stars, and the beauty of fashion. By focusing on the splendor of life, Tony replaced the images of horror embedded in his eyes from war. This exhibition illustrates his will to live and advance the power of beauty in the life we all share.

As Tony nears his 100th birthday, he has survived two bouts with COVID-19, and is one of the few people alive who can claim to have survived the Battle of Normandy and 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 has said. “And most of these challenges I win. That’s what keeps me going.”

On December 20, Tony Vaccaro celebrates his 100th birthday, an inspiration to us all.

color photograph of Tony Vaccaro holding a film test strip in NY, 1960

Tony Vaccaro with Test Strip NYC, 1960. Copyright Tony Vaccaro, courtesy Monroe Gallery.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

CENTER: Grab a Hunk of Lightning Showing Saturday, Nov. 19

Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lightning Teaser Trailer from Katahdin Productions on Vimeo.



November 16, 2022

Grab A Hunk of Lightning is narrated and directed by the legendary photographer Dorothea Lange’s granddaughter, award-winning filmmaker Dyanna Taylor, telling the compelling story of the passion, vision, and drive that made Lange one of the most important documentary photographers of the 20th century. On November 19 at 7:30pm, Dyanna Taylor joins us for an in-person Q&A in this special presentation of the film in conjunction with the 2022 CENTER Review Santa Fe Photo Symposium.

While Lange’s haunting image The Migrant Mother is one of the most recognized photographs in the world, few know the full range and depth of Lange’s work or the suffering and sensitivity that drew her to empathize with the people she photographed. Grab A Hunk of Lightning brings the wide scope of Lange’s work and sensibility to the screen.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition

Via F-Stop

November 12, 2022

screen shot of F-Stop article on Tony Vaccaro Centennial exhibits in New York and Santa Fe with photo of 3 models with umbrellas in Finland, 1965


Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition

Santa Fe: Nov. 25, 2022-Jan. 15, 2023
New York City: Dec. 13 - 18, 2022

“Vaccaro is known for his photographs of WWII, which were the subject of a 2016 HBO documentary, and his editorial work for Life, Look, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and countless other publications. The exhibitions coincide with Tony Vaccaro 100! on view at the Museum für Photographie in Braunschweig, Germany. In both locations, Tony Vaccaro: The Centennial Exhibition, will juxtapose the living legend’s powerful war images with the lyrical mid-century fashion, film, and pop culture photographs that came later. Vaccaro will be in attendance for a reception in New York. ”

Monroe Gallery

112 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM

Sunday, November 6, 2022

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Empathy As A Perspective with Anne Wilkes Tucker


The Democratic Lens Scholar Lectures

Examining how images have shaped America’s collective memory and inspired individuals to participate in civic life.

Sunday, November 20

Livestream and La Fonda on the Plaza, Lumpkins Ballroom 100 E. San Francisco St. Santa Fe, NM 87501

Lectures are free and open to the public. Attend live online or in person at Santa Fe's La Fonda on the Plaza Hotel.

10-11 am | Photography & Restitution: The Civil Potential of the Image with Laura Wexler, Charles H. Farnam Professor of American Studies & Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Yale University

11-12 pm | WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Empathy As A Perspective with Anne Wilkes Tucker, Curator Emerita, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

12-1 pm | What Can’t Be Unseen: Photography & Activism with Kymberly Pinder, Ph.D., Dean, Yale School of Art, Yale University

1-1:30 pm| Q&A with Moderator Will Wilson, Photographer & Program Head of Photography, Santa Fe Community College

Reserve here

Anne Wilkes Tucker is one of the four authors of War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and its Aftermath, a 612-page survey of images made of wars, from the Crimean War (1853-1856) through the Iraq War (2003-2011). The 2012 book was produced to document Tucker’s monumental exhibit of images of war at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Tucker will speak on War/Photography: Empathy as a Perspective as one of three scholars presenting at a Nov. 20 Review Santa Fe symposium called The Democratic Lens: Photography and Civic Engagement, sponsored by CENTER and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The symposium is free and can be attended online or in person.

Tucker will discuss how empathy plays a largely unexamined role in war, including for photographers who become involved with their subjects after photographing them. For example, one Los Angeles Times photographer took time off from his job to take a soldier he had photographed who was suffering from PTSD to a rehabilitation center and stayed with him for a month, Tucker says.

“I just want people to understand, when they get all ‘rah-rah’ about war, that the war doesn’t end for soldiers,” she says. “There is still a soldier a day in the U.S. who kills him- or herself.” 

Friday, November 4, 2022

Ed Kashi Photographs Featured in TIME Cover Story


image of TIME cover with story about Qatar  hosting the 2022 World Cup soccer championships and Migrant labor toll

November 3, 2022

"TIME published a story I worked on with Aryn Baker and Tom Laffay focused on the health impacts of heat stress on workers in an increasingly hotter planet.

Our journey started in Nepal, a country that sends many of its young men to toil in the Arab Gulf states. These young men are often forced to labor in extremely hot conditions, with temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit coupled with 80% humidity, for long hours. This has led to an increase in the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Non-Traditional Causes (CKDnt), an illness I have documented through the past decade in seven countries along the global hot zones.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing photographs from this assignment, as our team followed the flow of laborers from countries like Nepal to Qatar. Many of these workers helped build the stadiums and other vital infrastructure for the upcoming World Cup, which begins on November 22 in Doha, Qatar. As our attentions turn to soccer and this momentous championship, we must also keep in mind the hard work of these migrant laborers who have sacrificed so much to make the next World Cup possible." -- Ed Kashi

Read the full story by TIME: