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The Street Photographer

Arthur Leipzig, one of the last of a generation of socially conscious photographers best known for photographing everyday life on the streets of New York, died at 96 on this date in 2014. Trained at the leftwing Photo League in New York, Leipzig said that “his goal was to capture people — their personalities, problems […]

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February 13: Photographing the Warsaw Ghetto

Joe J. Heydecker, a soldier in the Nazi army who preserved forty-two photographs that he made inside the Warsaw Ghetto in early 1941, was born in Nuremberg on this date in 1916. Heydecker was a journalist and photographer who was ordered into Warsaw to join a propaganda unit. Anti-Nazi in sentiment, he secretly took hundreds […]

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Photographing the Thirties and Forties

by Marvin Zuckerman All photographs by Katherine Joseph, © Richard Hertzberg and Suzanne Hertzberg, courtesy of the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Discussed in this essay: Katherine Joseph: Photographing an Era of Social Significance by Suzanne Hertzberg. Bergamot Press, 2016, 149 pages. Sing me a song of social significance,/ There’s nothing […]

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July 13: Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz, who helped turn photography into an art form and helped introduce America to modern art, died at 82 on this date in 1946. Born to German Jewish immigrants to America, he spent his twenties in Germany, and it was there that he became enamored of the new technology of photography and began writing […]

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May 2: Halsman’s Jumpology

Photographer Philippe Halsman, whose portraits of Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and numerous other people of fame became internationally known, was born in Riga, Latvia on this date in 1906. At age 22, he was falsely accused of the murder of his father, who had […]

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March 23: The Red Army Photographer

Yevgeny Khaldei, a Jewish Red Army photographer who took the iconic photograph of a Soviet soldier raising a Soviet flag above the German Reichstag at the end of World War II (published in the magazine Ogoniok on May 13, 1945), was born in Donetsk, Ukraine on this date in 1917. Khaldei was in love with […]

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December 30: El Lissitzky

Russian artist, graphic designer, and architect El Lissitzky, an important avant-garde creator who strongly influenced the Bauhaus and constructivist movements, died at 51 on this date in 1941. Born in Lithuania, Lissitzky was barred by the anti-Semitic quota system from attending an art academy in Saint Petersburg, so he took himself to Germany in 1909 […]

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November 23: Life Magazine

The first edition of the weekly Life magazine was published on this date in 1936, with five pages of photographs by Alfred Eisenstadt, a refugee from Nazi Germany. The cover price was 10¢, and the cover photograph of the Fort Peck Dam in Montana, a Works Progress Administration project, was by Margaret Bourke-White (whose father […]

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