Monday, July 22, 2024

Gallery Photographer Joe McNally's Photographs Features in Tributes to Joe Biden

 Via The Guardian

July 22, 2024

screenshot of The Guradian feature with a black and white photo of Portrait of Senator Joe Biden in his office shot in September of 1988. The Senator had just returned at this point to his duties having suffered an aneurysm which was life threatening. Photograph: Joe McNally

Gallery photographer Joe McNally's photographs feature prominently in today's Guardian feature on Joe Biden’s political career across the decades – in pictures, as well as in The Irish Times.


screenshot of The Irish times feature with a black and white photograph of Joe Biden looking out a window in September, 1988




black and white photo  September 1988, then Senator Joe Biden on the metro liner to Washington DC

In September 1988, then Senator Joe Biden on the metro liner to Washington DC. He was returning to work in the Senate having suffered an aneurysm, which was life threatening. Photograph: Joe McNally



black and white photo of Joe Biden looking out a window in Washingtons, DC, Seotember, 198
Joe Biden, September, 1988
Photograph: Joe McNally


black and white Portrait of Senator Joe Biden in his office shot in September of 1988. The Senator had just returned at this point to his duties having suffered an aneurysm which was life threatening. Photograph: Joe McNally/

Portrait of Senator Joe Biden in his office shot in September of 1988. The Senator had just returned at this point to his duties having suffered an aneurysm which was life threatening. 

Saturday, July 20, 2024

"A long history of 'amazing photojournalism''"

 Via NBC News

July 19, 2024



Four photographers shot iconic images when gunfire rang out at Trump rally
"All of a sudden history is unfolding. You just have to keep making pictures"

"Their images will join others that captured some of the darkest days in U.S. history, such as the famous photo by Bill Eppridge showing a busboy helping Robert F. Kennedy moments after the presidential candidate was assassinated in 1968, and the images by Associated Press photographer Ron Edmonds of President Ronald Reagan being rushed to his motorcade after being shot in 1981."'


Bill Eppridge covered Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 Presidential campaign, see his work here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

 Via Musee Magazine

July 16, 2024

Screenshot of Musee magazine logo graphic with text "Vanguard of Photographic Culture"



An exhibition of more than 40 photographs celebrates the extraordinary life and career of photographer Tony Vaccaro.

Monroe Gallery of Photography honors the late Tony Vaccaro with Tony Vaccaro: The Pursuit of Beauty, an exhibition continuing through September 15. On display are photographs from 1944 to 1979 which depict a wide range of subjects, from the battlefields of Europe to the rooftops of Manhattan. Vaccaro, who died on December 28, 2022 at 100 years old, had seen it all. --full review here.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Tony Vaccaro: War and Peace

 Via Pastiempo

July 12, 2024

color photograph of Peggey Guggenheim in a Gondola, Venice, Italy, 1968
Tony Vaccaro


Tony Vaccaro stuck around Europe for years following his discharge from the Army in September 1945, four months after D-Day. The timing allowed the famed photographer to capture both war’s brutality and its aftermath, the latter a time of both celebratory smiles and a welcome return to the mundanity of peacetime day-to-day existence.

Vaccaro’s war and post-war images contrast sharply with one another, and all contrast with his later work documenting daily life and fashion for major publications of his day such as Look, Newsweek, and Life. An array of his images is featured in Tony Vaccaro: The Pursuit of Beauty at the Monroe Gallery of Photography.

Owners Michelle and Sid Monroe were friendly with Vaccaro, who died eight days after his 100th birthday in December 2022. His son Frank spoke at a July 5 reception for the exhibition.

"We were privileged to know Tony and to be able to call him a friend. He shared his experiences, his empathy, his integrity and his passion for life and his family with us. He led his life, and pursued his work, as an antidote to mankind’s inhumanity to mankind. "


 — Brian Sandford




details:

Tony Vaccaro: The Pursuit of Beauty

Through September 15

Monroe Gallery of Photography

112 Don Gaspar Avenue

505-992-0800; monroegallery.com

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Travel + Leisure readers selected Santa Fe as the #2 U.S. destination; "a photographer's dream"

 Via Travel & Leisure

July 9, 2024


Travel + Leisure readers selected Santa Fe as the #2 U.S. destination on the 2024 World’s Best Awards’ list of the, “15 Best Cities in the U.S.” for the second consecutive year! 


"This artsy Southwestern destination has ranked high on our list for nearly 20 years, and it’s not just because of the 320 days of sunshine it receives each year, though it certainly doesn’t hurt. “Santa Fe is like its own country within a country,” gushed one reader. “It’s such a unique blend of culture and history that you don’t see in the rest of the USA.” Another visitor called its downtown, with Pueblo-style buildings and independent galleries, “a photographer's dream and a shopper's delight.”

Monday, July 8, 2024

AIPAD Announces Dates of New York Photography Show for 2025

 Via AIPAD



The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) has announced its dates for next year's show, which will be returning to the Park Avenue Armory once again after this year's successful venture at this location.

The fair will be opening on Wednesday afternoon, April 23rd, and closing on Sunday evening, April 27th, 2025.

Visit Monroe Gallery of Photography's exhibit at the 2024 edition here.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF TONY VACCARO

 Via Kevin Sessums Sums It Up

July 6, 2024



"I first discovered the extraordinary photographs of Tony Vaccaro a few years ago - and met the man himself - when I was in Santa Fe and Ali MacGraw, one of his subjects, took me to an exhibition of his work at the Monroe Gallery of Photography. I was both impressed by his fashion and celebrity photographs and moved by his WWII ones. I think he was unique in his bestriding both worlds with such grit and grace. There was a kind of wry bemusement to the fashion and celebrity ones but a wrenching intimacy to the war work. Last night the latest show of his photography opened at the Monroe Galley. I felt Tony’s presence in my conversation with his ten-year-old grandson Luke who was there with his family. The show runs until September 15th. If you are in Santa Fe, don’t miss it."

 --more here


Friday, July 5, 2024

Tony Vaccaro: The Pursuit of Beauty

 Via Musee Magazine

July 5, 2024


screenshot of Musee Magazine webpage with photograph of a woman wearing an architectural hat resembling the Guggenheim Museum in front of the museum building in 1960



Tony Vaccaro died on December 28, 2022, eight days after celebrating his 100th birthday. Orphaned at age 6, as a young boy he immersed himself in studying classic European art and by age 10 had a box camera. He photographed WWII from a soldier’s perspective, documenting his personal witness to the brutality of war. After carrying a camera across battlefields, he become one the most sought-after photographers of his day, eventually working for virtually every major publication: Flair, Look, Life, Venture, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Quick, Newsweek, and many more. Vaccaro turned the trauma of his youth into a career seeking beauty. Tony’s transition from war and its aftermath was a deliberate one as an antidote to man’s inhumanity to man.



more here: Monroe Gallery

Friday, June 28, 2024

"Fallout', directed by Nina Berman, is the Telly Awards Silver Winner for Documentary: Short Form

 Via The Telly Awards

June 28, 2024


SILVER WINNER: DOCUMENTARY: SHORT FORM (UNDER 40 MINUTES) — NON-BROADCAST

Executive Producer

Jeffery DelViscio, Scientific American

Director

Duy Linh Tu, Scientific American

Director

Nina Berman, Scientific American

Producer/Editor

Sebastian Tuinder, Scientific American

Animator

Dominic Smith, Scientific American

Narrator

Joseph Polidoro, Scientific American


Saturday, June 22, 2024

Save The Date: July 6, Free screening of Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro

black and white photograph of Tony Vaccaro  holding his camera whle seated on an airplane wing during WWII

 

Monroe Gallery of Photography is honored to announce a major exhibition of more than 45 photographs celebrating the life and career of Tony Vaccaro. “Tony Vaccaro: The Pursuit of Beauty” The exhibit opens on Friday, July 5, with a public reception and Gallery conversation with Frank Vaccaro, son of the photographer, 5 – 7 pm.  

Monroe Gallery will sponsor a free screening of the HBO Documentary Film “Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc Tony Vaccaro” on Saturday, July 6, 4 pm at the Jean Cocteau Theater. 

Free tickets here.

The film tells the story of how Tony survived the war, fighting the enemy while also documenting his experience at great risk, developing his photos in combat helmets at night and hanging the negatives from tree branches. The film also encompasses a wide range of contemporary issues regarding combat photography such as the ethical challenges of witnessing and recording conflict, the ways in which combat photography helps to define how wars are perceived by the public, and the sheer difficulty of staying alive while taking photos in a war zone.

 In 1943, with the Allied invasion of Europe imminent, a newly drafted 21-year-old Tony Vaccaro applied to the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He had developed a passion for photography and knew he wanted to photograph the war. “They said I was too young to do this,” Tony says, holding his finger as if taking a photo, “but not too young to do this,” turning his finger forward, pulling a gun trigger. Not one to be denied, Tony went out and purchased a $47.00 Argus C3, and carried the camera into the war with him. He would fight with the 83rd Infantry Division for the next 272 days, playing two roles – a combat infantryman on the front lines and a photographer who would take roughly 8,000 photographs of the war.

 In the decades that followed the war, Tony would go on to become a renowned commercial photographer for magazines such as Look, Life, and Flair, but it is his collection of war photos, images that capture the rarely seen day-to-day reality of life as a soldier, that is his true legacy. Tony kept these photos locked away for decades in an effort to put the war behind him, and it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that this extraordinary body of work was first discovered and celebrated in Europe. In the United States, however, Tony has yet to receive his due and few people have heard of him.

 Though the narrative spine of the film is a physical journey in which Tony brings us to the places in Europe where many of his most powerful photos were taken, over the course of the film we also trace Tony’s emotional journey from a young GI eager to record the war to an elderly man who, at 93, has become a pacifist, increasingly horrified at man’s ability to wage war. Tony believed fiercely that the Allied forces in WWII were engaged in a just war, but he vowed never to take another war photo the day the war ended, and he didn’t.

 In addition to numerous interviews with Tony, the film includes interviews with a number of other people, including Tyler Hicks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the New York Times; Lynsey Addario, a Pulitzer Prize-winner who has covered conflict for 30 years for the New York Times, Time, National Geographic, and other major publications; Anne Wilkes Tucker, a photography curator and curator of the comprehensive exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY; James Estrin, a Senior Photographer for the New York Times and editor of the Times’ Lens blog; and John G. Morris, who was the photo editor of Life Magazine during World War II and was Robert Capa’s editor.

 Concurrently, Monroe Gallery is featuring a major exhibition of photographs by Tony Vaccaro. The exhibit continues through September 15, 2024.

 

Tony Vaccaro died on December 28, 2022, eight days after celebrating his 100th birthday. Orphaned at age 6, he immersed himself in studying classic European art and by age 10 had a box camera. He photographed WWII from a soldier’s perspective, documenting his personal witness to the brutality of war.  After carrying a camera across battlefields, he become one the most sought-after photographers of his day, eventually working for virtually every major publication: Flair, Look, Life, Venture, Harper’s Bazaar, Town and Country, Quick, Newsweek, and many more. Vaccaro turned the trauma of his youth into a career seeking beauty. This exhibit explores the extraordinary depth of his archive and features several new discoveries being exhibited for the very first time.

 

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Mississippi Freedom Trail unveils new marking in remembrance of the Neshoba county murders of 1964 in Philadelphia

 Via WTOK TV

June 14, 2024


PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - The Mississippi Freedom Trail unveiled its newest marker in Philadelphia.

The marker is in remembrance of the Neshoba county murders of 1964 that featured three men, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, who were participating in an initiative to register black voters but were jailed and later killed by members of the KKK.

News 11 spoke to the mayor of Philadelphia James A. Young who said that it’s a reminder of the past and a marker showing a better future.

“I think it’s a great day. We remember it but when you have markers to remind you of some of the incidents that happened; we never need to forget our history, but as I said in the intro, we should not live in the past but never forget the past. It’s key. I mean every time people pass this marker, they’re gonna remember these guys lost their lives trying to get us registered to vote. So, we should vote every day.” said Mayor Young.

On June 15th, the Neshoba County Coalition will host a program that will honor the 60th anniversary of Freedom Summer and remember the deaths of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On June 21, 1964, voter registration volunteers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were arrested in Neshoba County, Mississippi following a traffic stop, escorted to the local jail, and held for a number of hours. As the three left town in their car, they were followed by law enforcement and their car was pulled over again. The three were abducted, driven to another location, and shot at close range. The bodies were buried in an earthen dam.

LIFE magazine sent Bill Eppridge to Mississippi immediately after the news broke – he had been covering Pete Seeger at the Newport Folk Festival. Several of Eppridge’s photographs from that time are featured in the exhibit "1964".  Exhibits - 1964 - Monroe - Gallery of Photography (monroegallery.com)



Thursday, June 13, 2024

Photojournalists Sign Open Letter Urging Meta Not to Use Their Photos for AI Training

 Via Medium

June 12, 2024


graphic with text that reads Open letter: Mete don't train your AI on real images of war,  conflict, and crisis



Sign here (individuals)!

Sign here (institutions)!

For more than a decade, Instagram has been a crucial tool for photojournalists distributing their work. They have reached millions from some of the most dangerous places in the world. Many have paid with their lives. They have also been crucial in the initial growth of the platform.

We are deeply troubled by Meta Platforms, Inc.’s plan to train their artificial intelligence (AI) models on photojournalistic content. In times of disinformation and misinformation, in a time where democracy is in decline and the common denominator of what is true and what is fake is eroding, it is more important than ever to have trustworthy sources. Meta’s announced AI policy further undermines that.

We ask Meta to reverse course on their plan to train their AI on Instagram without the option to opt out for most users. We further ask Meta to not use any journalistic or documentary photography and videography in their AI. It is not only a threat to our profession, but to democracy itself.

Sign here (individuals)!

Sign here (institutions)!

Signed,

FREELENS e.V.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Monroe Gallery exhibit turns the lens to the pivotal year in US history

 Via The Albuquerque Journal

June 9, 2024

image of newspaper article from the Albuquerque Journa; "Explore 1964" about Monroe Gallery's 1964 exhibit

Explore ’64


Monroe Gallery exhibit turns the lens to the pivotal year in US history

By Kathaleen Roberts

Assistant Arts Editor


1964 was the year the ’60s really began.

That’s the year American culture fractured and eventually split along ideological lines, establishing the poles of societal debate that are still raging today. The Beatles led a British Invasion of popular music, Muhammad Ali, who called himself “The Greatest,” shocked the world and became the heavyweight champion, three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi, and activist Fannie Lou Hamer declared “I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired.” 1964 was a year of remarkable transition that prefigured 60 years of tumultuous change.

Open at Santa Fe’s Monroe Gallery of Photography, “1964” covers a decade of unremitting change and protest that still resonates today.

Sixty years ago, the United States was still recovering from the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 1964 was the year that societal fault lines started to become visible. Politics, civil rights, women’s rights, sexuality, inequality, poverty, Vietnam and youth culture all became flashpoints in societal debate that prefigured 60 years of tumultuous change. Sen. Barry Goldwater’s (nicknamed Mr.

Conservative) campaign for president began a conservative revolution in the Republican Party that still impacts the GOP and American politics today.

“The American elements that we were struggling with then, we are struggling with today,” said Michelle Monroe, gallery co-owner.

“In spite of the times we find ourselves in, we are the same species.”

Parents were rightly shocked to see white, middle- class youths overdose on heroin. Switch the drug to the much more lethal fentanyl today.

In 1964, civil rights activists launched protests, marches and voting drives. Today, Black Lives Matter is attempting to address the same issues of justice, healing and freedom.

Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi sharecropper’s child, was determined to address members of the Mississippi Democratic Convention.


black and white close up photograph side portrait of Fannie Lou Hamer singing at the Mississippi Freedom Democratic State Convention in Jackson, Mississippi, August 6, 1964
Bill Eppridge: Fannie Lou Hamer, Mississippi Freedom Democratic State Convention in Jackson, Mississippi, August 6, 1964

Sterilized without her permission, she tried to register to vote and was beaten and hospitalized.

She formed the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to comply with convention rules.

President Lyndon “Johnson was so concerned that he announced he was going to give a speech that very day,” Monroe said.

Life magazine photographer Bill Eppridge flew to Meridian, Mississippi, to photograph the aftermath of the murders of activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner by members of the Ku Klux Klan in what became known as the Mississippi Burning murders. Eppridge ask Chaney’s mother what he could photograph and she told him to shoot everything, including her son’s funeral. His shot of Mrs.  Chaney comforting her son Ben crystallizes their grief.


black and white photograph of Mrs. Chaney holding young Ben next to her at the James Chaney funeral, Meridian, Mississippi, 1964
Bill Eppridge: Mrs. Chaney and young Ben, James Chaney funeral, Meridian, Mississippi, 1964


“While he was there, they found those three bodies buried behind a dam that was about to be poured over,” Monroe said.

black and white photograph of then-Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) seated at a lunch counter with Malcolm X, over his shoulder after Clay defeated Sonny Liston, Miami, 1964
Bob Gomel: Cassius Clay and Malcolm X, Miami, 1964

Bob Gomel photographed Muhammed Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) celebrating his defeat of Sonny Liston with Malcolm X looking over his shoulder.

“He announced the (name) change the next day,” Monroe said. “He writes that famous line, ‘I don’t have to be what you want me to be.’ Malcolm had pressed him with, ‘You’re a Muslim, but you’re not making a declaration about it and we need you.’” Steve Schapiro’s World’s Fair “Stall In” shows cars blocking a central street to the event by Congress of Racial Equality activists.


black and white photograph of African Americans standing by cars with hoods open in a "stall in" protest at the NY World's Fair in 1964
Steve Schapiro: CORE "Stall-In" during the World's Fair, New York, 1964

New York had spent millions to host the fair, while Black and Puerto Rican people lived in squalor.

“It did affect the attendance the first day,” Monroe said.

In February, when the nation was still in mourning, the Beatles arrived at Kennedy Airport.


black and white photograph of the 4 Beatles in jackets and ties seated in a row on a train as it waits to arrive at NY's Penn Station in February, 1964

Bill Eppridge: The Beatles wait arrive at Penn Station, NY, February 12, 1964


That was a huge generational catalyst for the rest of the decade,” Monroe said. “Suddenly, everybody had something in common. It began as fandom and moved into an anti-war generation, a generation that wanted to embrace equality, a generation that wanted to embrace women’s equality.

“Those goofballs arrived and created brotherhood, sisterhood. Sports and music have done so much to bring people together.”

“That is such a flashpoint in the fabric of our country,” Monroe said.


On exhibit through June 23, 2024

www.monroegallery.com

Friday, June 7, 2024

History through the lens of legendary photojournalist Bill Eppridge

Via Connecticut Public Radio

By Ray Hardman

June 6, 2024

black and white photograph of Streisand in the dressing room of the Johnny Carson Show (The Tonight Show) January 1963. Photographer Bill Eppridge is standing behind her making a photograph of her reflected in the mirror. Life reporter Chris Welles is on the left behind Streisand.
Barbra Streisand in the dressing room of the Johnny Carson Show (The Tonight Show) January 1963. Photographer Bill Eppridge is standing behind her making a photograph of her reflected in the mirror. Life reporter Chris Welles is on the left behind Streisand.

Listen here

Bill Eppridge and his Nikon camera chronicled some of the most important events of the second half of the 20th century, including his iconic photograph of a dying Robert F. Kennedy shortly after he was shot in 1968.

Eppridge, who lived in Connecticut, died in 2013 at the age of 75. Since then, his widow, Adrienne Aurichio, has been cataloging his enormous body of work — photographs, negatives and other correspondence dating from his earliest days as a photojournalist.

“There is so much history in there that he didn't want any of that to be lost,” Aurichio said. “There's every note card, every postcard someone sent him, memos from editors all about his work, he saved everything because he said, ‘This is part of my legacy, part of my archive that people will want to look at later.'"

Eppridge was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and lived in New Milford, Connecticut. But he grew up in Richmond, Virginia during segregation.

Aurichio reflected on those formative years.

“Something that stuck with him his whole life was seeing a white policeman get on a bus and make an elderly Black woman move because she was sitting in the front,” Aurichio said. “And he was with his good friend, they were maybe 10. And he said he never forgot that, you know, just the injustice of it.”

Aurichio said that sense of empathy and injustice is evident in all of his work, but especially when he was covering the Civil Rights Movement for Life Magazine in the 1960s.

She showed a picture she recently discovered in Eppridge’s archives, just one example of the historically significant photographs she continues to uncover. The black and white image is a closeup of a Black woman addressing a crowd. Aurichio is convinced the woman is civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, addressing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party Convention in 1964, which she co-founded.

color photograph of Connecticut Public Host Ray Hardman interviewing Adrienne Aurichio in the Bill Eppridge archices at their home in Connenticut
Julianne Varacchi
Connecticut Public Host Ray Hardman interviews Adrienne Aurichio in Danbury, Conn. for “Where ART Thou?” as they look at Bill Eppridge's photograph of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer from 1964. Aurichio is the widow and publishing collaborator of famed photojournalist Bill Eppridge. Adrienne and Bill moved to New Milford in 2004, where Adrienne still lives.

“I did some research and found her in some news photos,” Aurichio said. "She was wearing the same dress and she's at the convention and she's singing. And it was only a couple of days after Bill had photographed the funeral of James Chaney.”

James Chaney was one of three civil rights workers killed by the Ku Klux Klan in Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1964. Aurichio said some 60 years later, it’s still hard to believe that Eppridge, a young white photographer on assignment, actually went to the Chaney house and asked if he could stay with them in the midst of their grief and take pictures. They welcomed him in, and Eppridge captured a series of haunting pictures of James Chaney’s funeral for Life Magazine.

This “Fly on the Wall” approach worked well on another important assignment from earlier that year. In February 1964, Eppridge headed to JFK Airport to photograph a music group from Liverpool, England, called The Beatles, who were making their first trip to the U.S.

Aurichio said the assignment, which was only supposed to last a day, ended up lasting six days. Eppridge captured not only the youthful exuberance of the "Fab Four" on their first visit to the states, but also the fever pitch reactions of the hordes of fans fully in the throes of “Beatlemania.”


black and white photograph of The Beatles with Ed Sullivan and photographers behind them on , February 8, 1964. New York City.
Bill Eppridge/©Estate Of Bill Eppridge

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan, February 8, 1964. New York City.

Eppridge continued to cover important assignments — Vietnam, revolutions in Central and South America, and Woodstock — but his defining moment as a photojournalist came while covering the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.

“When he first heard the gunshots, he knew instantly it was a gun, and he immediately pushed forward to try and see what had happened,” Aurichio said.

Kennedy was assassinated after addressing a crowd of supporters gathered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Aurichio said Eppridge was one of the first to enter the hotel kitchen where Bobby Kennedy lay dying.

“It's somewhat extraordinary that he could make that picture,” Aurichio said. “So he had to have the wherewithal in a split second to say, ‘OK, I can't do much. There are other people closing in. What can I do as a photographer? This is history.’ And in his mind, he thought it really has to be documented because you don't want questions later, as there always are with JFK’s assassination.”

The photograph, that of a dying Kennedy laying in a circle of overhead light, his head cradled by a kitchen worker, is one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century.

Aurichio said Eppridge never stopped taking photographs.

Even during his long bout with pancreatic cancer, Eppridge continued to be a “fly on the wall,” capturing the beauty and spontaneity of his subjects, just as he had done for decades.


Bill Eppridge's photographs are featured in the current "1964" exhibition though June 23, 2024. More of Eppridge's work may be found here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

D-Day + 80: remembering Tony Vaccaro

 

black and white photograph showing waterfront and beach at Normandy, 1944
Tony Vaccaro: Normandy, June, 1944


As a U.S. Army private, Tony Vaccaro's boat sailed for Normandy on D-Day+12 in June 1944, before landing, June 18. 

Just before leaving for France, while all the other soldiers were busy checking their gear, Tony secretly wrapped his Argus C3 camera in layers of plastic to keep it from the water and to hide it from his commanding officer. He photographed the Normandy coast through a buttonhole in his outer jacket.

Drafted into the war at the age of 21, he was denied access to the Signal Corps, but 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, Tony fought on the front lines of the war, documenting his personal witness to the horrors of war.

The pictures – many of them raw, graphic, disturbing – follow his advance, and that of his unit, the 83rd Infantry Division, from the beaches to Berlin.

They represent one of the most complete collections of images of World War II, as seen through the eyes of someone who fought during the conflict. 

Read "D-Day through a lens: ‘First the rifle, then photographs’" on CNN

In 1994, the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Tony was awarded the French Legion of Honor, among many other awards and recognitions. The documentary film Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro premiered at the Boston Film Festival in 2016 and was distributed by HBO.  The film led to a career renaissance for Tony Vaccaro.

color photograph of Tony Vaccaro, left, with John Kerry at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of D Day, June 7, 2014 - By U.S. Department of State
Tony Vaccaro, left, at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of D Day, June 7, 2014
Via US Department of State/Wikipedia

Tony Vaccaro passed away peacefully on December 28, 2022, eight days after celebrating his 100th birthday.


A new exhibition, "TONY VACCARO: The Pursuit of Beauty" opens at Monroe Gallery of Photography on July 5, 2024, and will be on view through September 15, 2024.




Tuesday, June 4, 2024

The man in front of the tank: How journalists smuggled out the iconic Tiananmen Square photo

 Tiananmen Square: How journalists smuggled out the iconic ‘Tank Man’ photo | CNN

Via CNN

June 4, 2024



"The journey of the photograph, too, captured the tension and fear of the time – involving smuggling equipment and film past authorities and across borders. By that point, the Chinese government was trying desperately to control the message going out to the world – and was trying to stop all American news outlets, including CNN, from broadcasting live from Beijing.

It was Monday, June 5, 1989, and Beijing was reeling from the crackdown the day before. Liu Heung-shing, the photo editor for the AP in Beijing, asked Jeff Widener to help get photos of Chinese troops from the Beijing Hotel – which had the best vantage point of the square, now under military control.

Widener had flown in from the news agency’s Bangkok office a week before to help with coverage, and was hurt when the crackdown began, he told CNN previously – after having been hit in the head by a rock, and laid low with the flu.

He set off, with his camera equipment hidden in his jacket – a long 400-millimeter lens in one pocket, a doubler in another, film in his underwear and the camera body in his back pocket.

“I’m biking towards the Beijing Hotel and there’s just debris and charred buses on the ground,” he said. “All of a sudden, there’s four tanks coming, manned by soldiers with heavy machine guns. I’m on my bicycle thinking I can’t believe I’m doing this.”

“I hear rumors that other journalists had had their film and cameras confiscated. I had to figure out a way to get into the hotel,” he added. “I look inside the darkened lobby, and there’s this Western college kid. I walked up to him and whispered, ‘I’m from Associated Press, can you let me up to your room?’ He picked up on it right away and said, ‘Sure.’”

From there, Widener began photographing the tanks rolling by on the roads below – sometimes hearing the ring of a bell that signified a cart passing by with a body, or an injured person being taken to the hospital, he said.

Widener was at the window, preparing to photograph the column of tanks coming down the road, when “this guy with shopping bags walks out in front and starts waving the bags,” he said. “I’m just waiting for him to get shot, holding the focus on him, waiting and waiting.”

The tank stopped and tried to go around the man. The man moved with the tank, blocking its path once again. At one point during the standoff, the man climbed aboard the lead tank and appeared to speak to whoever was inside.

But Widener had a problem – the scene was too far away for his 400-mm lens. His doubler, which would allow him to zoom in twice as much, lay on the bed, leaving him a choice: Should he go grab the doubler, and risk losing the shot in those precious seconds?

He took the chance, got the doubler on the camera, took “one, two, three shots. Then it was over,” he said. “Some people came, grabbed this guy, and ran off. I remember sitting down on this little sofa next to the window and the student (Martsen) said, ‘Did you get it? Did you get it?’ Something in the back of my mind said maybe I got it, but I’m not sure.”

Liu remembers getting the call from Widener, and immediately firing off instructions: roll up the film, go down to the lobby, and ask one of the many foreign students there to bring it to the AP office.

The pictures were soon transmitted over telephone lines to the rest of the world.

Widener did, sending the student bicycling away with the film hidden in his underwear. Forty-five minutes later, “an American guy with a ponytail and a backpack showed up with an AP envelope,” said Liu. They quickly developed the film, “and I looked at that frame – and that’s the frame. It went out.”


“I suppose for a lot of people it’s something personal, because this guy represents everything in our lives that we’re battling, because we’re all battling something,” Widener said. “He’s really become a symbol for a lot of people.”

Monday, June 3, 2024

Foot-dragging in Marion raid investigation should fill public with dread

 Via The Kansas Reflector

June 3, 3024


"I’ve had it.

Nearly 10 months after law enforcement officials raided the Marion County Record and two private residences, officials have yet to tell us the results of their investigations. That’s nearly a full year since a flagrant assault on free speech in Kansas, one signed off on by a list of city, county and state officials. True, a handful of individuals implicated in the scandal have left their roles in the intervening time. Lawsuits have been filed.

But we have not heard from those in charge. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, perhaps realizing it had been compromised by involvement in the raid, passed the entire affair over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. They originally said results would come in April. We’re at the beginning of June, and those results still haven’t come.

Our First Amendment rights, those shared by both journalists and the entire American public, deserve better."


And background here, and here.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Arrests of journalists already doubled over last year

 Via US Press Freedom Tracker Via US Press Freedom Tracker

May 31, 2024


graph chart showing number of journalists arrested 2017 through 2024



"Friends of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker:

Welcome back to your newsletter around press freedom violations in the United States. Find archived editions here, and get this newsletter directly in your inbox by signing up here.One month later — arrests have doubled

In my last newsletter, I wrote about journalists covering local reaction to the Israel-Gaza war, noting that as April came to an end, we had documented 13 arrests or detainments of members of the press, and were actively reporting on more. Active, indeed: As of today, we’ve documented 36.

Importantly, the number of journalists arrested or detained so far this year — which is not even half over — is more than the last two years combined.

In addition to arrests, we’ve captured more than 30 assaults of journalists under our “Israel-Gaza war” tag since Oct. 7, 2023 — seven of those on student journalists — and nine reports of damaged equipment."